Indian-origin Murali Pillai named Minister of State for Law and Transport in Singapore cabinet

Indian-origin Member of Parliament Murali Pillai will be appointed the Minister of State for Law and Transport in the new incoming cabinet of Singapore’s new Prime Minister Lawrence Wong, it was announced on Monday.

Pillai, 56, will be appointed and sworn in on July 1, according to a report by The Straits Times newspaper, while others will be sworn in on May 15.

Pillai, a member of the ruling People’s Action Party, is a lawyer.

Among other Indian-origin politicians, Dr Vivian Balakrishnan will remain as Foreign Affairs Minister, K. Shanmugam will continue as Minister of Home Affairs and Law, and Indranee Rajah as the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office.

The new cabinet line-up was announced by the Singapore Prime Minister’s Office on Monday.

It will be led by Wong, who will be sworn into the highest executive office on Wednesday after incumbent Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, 72, announced that he will step down on Wednesday after leading the country for 20 years.

Gan Kim Yong, 65, will be promoted to Deputy Prime Minister as part of a cabinet reshuffle and will remain as Trade and Industry Minister. He will be the acting prime minister in the absence of the prime minister.

He will also take over as the chairman of the Monetary Authority of Singapore, the de facto central bank, and assume responsibility for the strategy group within the Prime Minister’s Office.

Currently, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat, 63, will continue in his role.

Heng was first named to succeed Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong but he has declined to take up the position.

Wong, 51, also announced other promotions and appointments on Monday, but there were no major changes to the ministers helming each ministry in this reshuffle.

For example, Wong will remain at the helm of the Finance Ministry.

Speaking at a press conference at Istana on Monday, Wong said continuity and stability were “key considerations” as the government approached the end of its current term.

Noting that his new team is a “good mix” of experienced ministers and younger officeholders, Wong said he plans to rotate the People’s Action Party’s (PAP) fourth-generation, or 4G, ministers to different portfolios to “give them wider exposure and experience” if the party is re-elected after this term of government.

Lee will stay in the cabinet as senior minister after stepping down as leader of the government, it was announced previously.

He will remain as chairman of the Research, Innovation and Enterprise Council.

After serving for two decades, Lee, as Singapore’s third prime minister, is putting in charge the city state’s fourth-generation leader of the Asian financial hub which has to, without exception, face the challenging global environment of war, conflict, and trade supply chain disruptions, political observers said.

They emphasised no end to Ukraine-Russia fighting, Gaza bomb blasting, and clogging of sea lanes in the Red Sea.

Published By:

Ashutosh Acharya

Published On:

May 13, 2024

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