DPM Heng Swee Keat at the Press Conference on the New Cabinet Line-Up (May 2024)

DPM Heng Swee Keat | 13 May 2024

Opening Remarks by Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for Economic Policies Heng Swee Keat at the press conference on the new Cabinet line-up on 13 May 2024.

Thank you, all members of the media. First, let me thank Prime Minister Lee for his decades of outstanding public service and in particular, his last two decades as our Prime Minister. I think I have given several interviews to the media on what I saw as PM Lee’s biggest contributions to Singapore and what he had done for us, so I think I will not repeat this. 

Now, like Kim Yong, I have been privileged to work closely with our three Prime Ministers. I was the PPS to then Senior Minister Lee Kuan Yew, and learnt a lot during that period, particularly during the Asian Financial Crisis. Then, as a Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Trade and Industry, I worked closely to support then-Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong,  on many international meetings including APEC and ASEAN. Prime Minister Goh was also my Chairman in MAS during the global financial crisis. I then worked with Prime Minister Lee since my entry to politics in 2011. 

Lawrence and I entered politics together in 2011 and we have been working very closely in the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Finance, and I particularly appreciated Lawrence’s support during the COVID pandemic, especially in the year 2020, where we had rolled out five Budgets, in just one year. And Lawrence was a pillar of support during that time, in rolling out these Budgets, one after another. 

I am very happy that Lawrence has appointed Kim Yong as the other Deputy Prime Minister. In fact, Kim Yong and I worked very closely together when I was in the Ministry of Finance and he was in Ministry of Health, rolling out the various packages – including the Pioneer Generation and the Merdeka Generation. Before that, we were working together on the community network for seniors. I have known Kim Yong and worked with Kim Yong since my entry to politics, so we would work very closely together. 

I am also very happy to continue my role as the Chairman of National Research Foundation, and to work closely with both Prime Minister Wong and Deputy Prime Minister Gan on our economy, and in particular the future economy, looking at what are the new growth areas, particularly in science, technology, and innovation. So, there is a lot of work that we will need to do, and both Kim Yong and I will give our support to our incoming Prime Minister Lawrence, to bring Singapore together to work on these various critical issues facing the country. We will also work with our younger colleagues to help develop another generation of leadership, so that together with Singaporeans, we can take Singapore forward. 

Thank you.