SINGAPORE: Mr Heng Swee Keat resumed his duties as Finance Minister on Monday (Aug 22), more than three months after he suffered a stroke. An announcement of Cabinet changes from the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) on Monday also said Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam has relinquished his appointment as Covering Minister for Finance as well.
Mr Lawrence Wong will be appointed as the Second Minister for Finance, concurrently with his present appointment as Minister for National Development, the PMO added.
The changes were made after Mr Heng’s doctors gave him the go-ahead to resume office work – albeit with minimum interaction – to minimise the risk of infection. Mr Heng has been advised to avoid contact with crowds for at least a few more months, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in his National Day Rally speech on Sunday.
Mr Lee added that Mr Heng will focus on next year’s Budget and the Committee on the Future Economy (CFE), while Mr Wong will help him out with the operational responsibilities at the Finance Ministry.
In another change to the Cabinet, Ms Sim Ann will be appointed Senior Minister of State in the Ministry of Trade and Industry and relinquish her appointment in the Ministry of Finance. She remains Senior Minister of State in the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth.
The changes take effect from Aug 22.