Saturday, March 29, 2008

Preliminary thoughts about Singapore's latest Cabinet reshuffle

CNA: "PM Lee unveils cabinet changes"

ST: "PM reshuffles Cabinet with a few major changes"

Hmm... I suppose the most interesting thing about the latest Cabinet reshuffle, in my opinion, would be that Mr. K Shanmugam got a direct elevation from being just a Member of Parliament to become the new Law Minister and concurrently the Second Minister for Home Affairs. However, considering his staunch defence of the public sector pay rise last year, both within the Parliament and outside, and his supposed competency with regards to oratorical ability and grasp of legal arguments, perhaps it is not surprising that he got promoted. [aside: I can't help but wonder how Associate Professor Ho Peng Kee feel about Mr. K Shanmugam's promotion]

The next most interesting thing about the reshuffle would be that Dr. Vivian Balakrishnan would be leaving his position as the Second Minister at the Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts (MICA). This is considering that he has been touted as the most likely candidate to take over Dr. Lee Boon Yang's position, i.e. Minister for MICA, when the latter retires mid-term. Hmm... If his leaving from MICA is an indication that Dr. Vivian Balakrishnan won't be taking over as Minister for MICA, I wonder who will instead be doing so? Rear-Admiral (NS) Lui Tuck Yew, who has been promoted to be the Senior Minister of State (MOS) for MICA?

This then brings me to the appointment of the new Education Minister. Contrary to most predictions, Rear-Admiral (NS) Lui didn't get promoted to become the new Education Minister. Instead, Dr. Ng Eng Hen is taking over the Education Ministry while Mr. Gan Kim Yong will be taking over as Acting Manpower Minister.

Last but not least, I suppose that there will be those who are disappointed that despite Mrs. Lim Hwee Hua's and Ms Grace Fu's promotion to Senior MOS, there remains no woman minister in the Singaporean Cabinet. While it is true that, as I have argued in an earlier post, the appointment of a woman minister does not really indicate anything for the status of gender equality in Singapore, it is nonetheless a rather disappointing fact that there are no woman ministers in the Singaporean Cabinet.

Ok, that's all for now for my preliminary thoughts about the Cabinet reshuffle...

Correction (30/3/2008)

In my haste last evening, I mistakenly wrote in this post that Dr. Ng Eng Hen will be taking over as Education Minister while retaining his position as Manpower Minister. This is incorrect. The truth is that Dr. Ng will be relinquishing his position as Manpower Minister while Mr. Gan Kim Yong will be taking over as Acting Manpower Minister. The erroneous part has been removed. I apologise for my mistake.

1 comment:

dK said...

I'm from Malaysia, and I blogged about your government's moves to do a reshuffle in the cabinet because of what's been happening around the world - especially Malaysia.

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