Heng Swee Keat, Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, announced his resignation on Friday, June 3, 2023. He will step down from his ministerial positions on October 1, 2023.
In a statement, Keat said that he had made the decision to resign in order to focus on his health. He has been diagnosed with a heart condition and has been undergoing treatment since 2021.
“I have been advised by my doctors that I need to focus on my health and recovery,” Keat said. “I have therefore decided to step down from my ministerial positions.”
Keat’s resignation is a major development in Singapore politics. He was seen as the likely successor to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
Keat was born in Singapore in 1954. He studied economics at the University of Cambridge and Harvard Business School. He joined the Singapore government in 1984 and has held a number of senior positions, including Minister for Trade and Industry, Minister for Education, and Minister for Finance.
Keat’s resignation will trigger a leadership transition in Singapore. Lee Hsien Loong has said that he will step down as Prime Minister in 2024.
Impact of Heng Swee Keat’s Resignation
Keat’s resignation is likely to have a significant impact on Singapore politics. It will open up a contest for the leadership of the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP).
Some of the possible contenders for the PAP leadership include Lawrence Wong, the current Finance Minister; Tharman Shanmugaratnam, the former Deputy Prime Minister; and Grace Fu, the current Minister for Sustainability and the Environment.
It is also possible that the PAP could appoint a younger leader, such as Ong Ye Kung, the current Minister for Health.
Keat’s resignation is also a setback for Singapore’s economic development. He was seen as a strong advocate for free trade and economic growth.
Heng Swee Keat’s resignation is a major development in Singapore politics. It will have a significant impact on the country’s leadership and economic development.