The Cabinet reshuffle provides the clearest signal yet that fourth-generation (4G) ministers Chan Chun Sing, Ong Ye Kung and Lawrence Wong are firmly in the running for the country's top political job, say observers. The changes were sparked by Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat's announcement earlier this month that he was stepping aside as the People's Action Party's (PAP) 4G leader to make way for a younger successor to the premiership. Mr Heng's finance portfolio is now going to Mr Wong.
Asst Prof Walid Jumblatt Abdullah of NTU viewed the move as an opportunity for Mr Chan to burnish his public image, given the greater exposure offered by MOE. A role of even greater visibility, said Prof Walid, is that of co-chair of the Covid-19 task force - which Mr Ong will assume now that he will be taking over as Health Minister. Political observer Felix Tan of NTU said the 4G leaders can eventually be moved into these positions after becoming more well-versed with Singapore's regional and international politics.
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