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Heng Swee Keat returns to helm Finance Ministry; Sim Ann leaves MOF to join MTI

Monday, August 22, 2016 - 16:15
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CHANGES to the Singapore Cabinet have been announced, with Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat returning to his post on Monday, Aug 22, after a three-month absence.

CHANGES to the Singapore Cabinet have been announced, with Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat returning to his post on Monday, Aug 22, after a three-month absence.

In a statement issued on Monday afternoon, the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) said Mr Heng will resume his responsibilities as Minister for Finance. Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam will relinquish his appointment as Covering Minister for Finance.

These changes take effect on Monday.

Lawrence Wong, currently the Minister for National Development, is now also the Second Minister for Finance.

Sim Ann will be Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry and will relinquish her appointment in the Ministry of Finance (MOF). She remains Senior Minister of State for Culture, Community and Youth.

Mr Heng's return to the Ministry of Finance comes after he had collapsed on May 12 from an aneurysm. Mr Tharman then covered his duties as Finance Minister.

Mr Heng was discharged from hospital on June 25, and has since spent time recuperating out of the public's view.

These changes announced by the PMO come after Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong made the announcement of Mr Heng's return in Sunday's National Day Rally speech.

During the speech, Mr Lee fell ill. After about an hour's suspension, Mr Lee returned to finish delivering his speech before heading to Singapore General Hospital for a check-up.

The PMO said on Monday Mr Lee will be on medical leave and will resume his duties on Aug 29.

Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean will cover the duties of the Prime Minister in his absence.

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