Singapore’s newly sworn in political office holders and parliamentary members were congratulated online after last night’s safely distanced ceremony.
Just days after Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong unveiled Singapore’s new cabinet ministers, 33 office holders as well as the many other elected parliamentary members were sworn in across the Istana and the Parliament house.
It was the first time that the ceremony had to be split due to COVID-19 safe distancing measures. Individuals also had to sit apart from each other.
The ceremony led by President Halimah Yacob was broadcasted live on national television and on Facebook.
“History in the making. May the good Lord bless our ministers with peace, discernment, integrity, wisdom, generousity, compassion and wisdom. Congratulations!!!” Facebook user Esther Yeo wrote online.
The ministers had also brought their significant others to witness the occasion. Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat, who is now the Coordinating Minister for Economic Policies, posted pictures of the ceremony from the Parliament house. One of them included a picture of them looking sleek in formal wear and posing with their wives.
“[Senior Minister] Teo Chee Hean reminded us to capture this memorable moment with our other halves as well,” Heng wrote.
Tampines MP Baey Yam Keng also posted a selfie with opposition MP Sylvia Lim yesterday, along with Mountbatten SMC’s MP Lim Biow Chuan and Eric Chua.
“At the Cabinet Swearing-In Ceremony,” Baey wrote.
Sengkang GRC’s MP Raeesah Khan gained attention for her batik outfit in her OOTD post yesterday.
“You look beautiful, Raeesah. Wow. Congratulations on making history in Parliament as the first minority-race opposition woman MP!” Facebook user Andrew Loh wrote.
“Tonight was symbolic for me, stepping into Parliament House wearing batik and one cut from the same cloth as ones that my family have,” Khan said.
Newly appointed Minister for Sustainability and the Environment Grace Fu also shared photos from the ceremony today, posing with other People’s Action Party women.
“Since you may have seen the official photos of the ceremony, I thought I will share some photos of us behind the scenes,” she wrote.
The new cabinet members resulted in six being promoted, seven newcomers and three retired office holders.
Those promoted were Maliki Osman, who is now Second Minister for Education and for Foreign Affairs; Edwin Tong, who is now Minister for Culture, Community and Youth, and Second Minister for Law; Zaqy Mohamad, who is now Senior Minister of State; and new Minister of States Low Yen Ling, Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim and Sun Xueling.
New office holders were Tan See Leng, now Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office and Second Minister for the Manpower and Trade and Industry ministries; Gan Siow Huang, who made her election debut this year and is now Minister of State in the Education and Manpower ministries; former LinkedIn head of public policy Alvin Tan, who is now Minister of State in the Culture, Community and Youth as well as the Trade and Industry ministries; Desmond Tan, who is now Minister of State in the Home Affairs and the Sustainability and the Environment ministries; Tan Kiat How, now Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office and the Ministry of National Development; Eric Chua, now Parliamentary Secretary in the Culture, Community and Youth and the Social and Family Development ministries; and Rahayu Mahzam, now Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Health.
The three retired office holders are former transport minister Khaw Boon Wan, former Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and Social and Family Development Sam Tan and former Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs and Trade and Industry Tan Wu Meng, now popularly known as the man who had questioned opposition leader Pritam Singh’s support of playwright Alfian Sa’at before the elections.
During the ceremony, the Prime Minister called for unity among Singaporeans.
“Let us now all come together as one Singapore, unite and focus our energies on the major challenges ahead. Keep improving our lives, securing our future and building a nation we can all be proud to call home,” Lee wrote.
Singh also showed off his party members in attendance at both the Istana and the Parliament house.
“Team [Workers’ Party]. At the Istana and in Parliament,” Singh wrote.
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