Straits Times reported on its papers today (14 Apr) that three veteran ministers will be stepping down when Parliament resumes on 7 May next month.
Quoting its "sources", ST identified the three to be:
- Trade and Industry Minister Lim Hng Kiang
- Manpower Minister Lim Swee Say
- Information and Communications Minister Yaacob Ibrahim
ST wrote that "farewell plans are afoot at their respective ministries". However, it's not clear if they will retire from politics altogether at the next General Election. According to ST, they will be replaced by the current new 4G leaders in Cabinet:
- Heng Swee Keat
- Chan Chun Sing
- Ong Ye Kung
The talk is that Chan, who is currently a minister in the Prime Minister Office, would take over the Trade and Industry Ministry while Heng may take on the defence role.
Ong would likely take over the entire Education Ministry with Ng Chee Meng going to NTUC.
Josephine Teo, who is the current Second Minister for Manpower, would take over Lim Swee Say's job entirely. Quoting sources, ST said she has been at the Manpower Ministry for a year and was the assistant secretary-general of NTUC before. As such, she is "familiar with a side range of manpower issues".
And of course, she is also quite familiar with the process of human reproduction. In 2016, when she was asked whether young Singaporean couples are not getting their HDB flats early enough to have children, she replied, "You do not need much space to have sex".
ST further disclosed that Janil Puthucheary and Chee Hong Tat are expected to be promoted from their current Senior Minister of State positions, with Puthucheary likely to take over the Information and Communications Ministry from Yaacob. Backbencher MP Sun Xueling may also be given a position and moved into the Cabinet.
However, ST did not say who would be the next 4G PM to take over from Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.