The BGA Singapore Team, led by Managing Director Nydia Ngiow, wrote an update on the country’s May 15 Cabinet reshuffle.


  • Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong announced on May 13 his proposed Cabinet, which will be sworn in with him when he becomes prime minister on May 15. This comes after Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong officially informed President Tharman Shanmugaratnam of his decision to resign on May 15 and advised him to invite Wong to form the next government.
  • As Wong alluded to in his remarks on April 16, continuity and stability are of the utmost priority, ensuring there were minimal changes with most ministers maintaining their current portfolios until the end of the term. Wong will continue to hold onto the finance portfolio for the foreseeable future.


  • Prime Minister Lee will transition to senior minister, in line with the role his predecessors Goh Chok Tong and Lee Kuan Yew took on after stepping down. He will remain chairman of the Research, Innovation and Enterprise Council. Teo Chee Hean will remain as senior minister and continue to be coordinating minister for national security.
  • Minister for Trade and Industry Gan Kim Yong was promoted to be one of two deputy prime ministers, alongside current officeholder Heng Swee Keat. Companies will be relieved to have familiar faces in these senior roles during the transition, with stakeholder engagement remaining at status quo for the time being.
  • Heng will maintain his role as deputy prime minister and oversee the technology and research and development portfolios in his capacity as chairman of the National Research Foundation. He will also keep his roles in the Future Economy Advisory Panel and the Productivity Fund Administration Board, although he is no longer the coordinating minister for economic policies.
  • The Ministry of Communications and Information will be renamed the Ministry of Digital Development and Information starting July 8. With digitalization increasingly an important part of the agenda, the change is meant to reflect the ministry’s broader digital portfolio and its growing significance in driving Singapore’s national digital agenda. The ministry will continue to oversee information policy and strategy, media development and public communications efforts.


  • Wong notably did not promote any senior ministers of state, demurring that he did not have a chance to interact with them in his new capacity even though some had served in their roles for quite some time. He preferred not to rush into making appointments now when he had yet to assess their full range of work, perhaps implying that their promotions hinge on how well they perform in the upcoming general election.
  • Wong is clearly balancing continuity and renewal by promoting younger officials and introducing new talent to the government, with the transition well underway. Companies should be prepared for Wong, as a new prime minister, to call for general elections sooner rather than later so he can affirm his mandate from Singapore’s general populace. Given Wong remarks about the approaching “end of this term of government,” a more substantial reshuffle should follow suit.

The official statement from the Prime Minister’s Office can be found here, with the exchange of letters between Lee and Tharman here. We will continue to monitor and update relevant political developments accordingly. Should you have any questions or comments, please contact BGA Singapore Managing Director Nydia Ngiow at

Best regards,

BGA Singapore Team