Khaw Boon Wan For Transport Minister?


PM Lee will be announcing his new cabinet sometime this week. And already people are speculating on who will be in the hot-seat; the transport ministry.

Almost everyone has pointed to Khaw Boon Wan to be the next transport minister although a few has suggested Vivian Balakrishnan just for some giggles.

Khaw has handled complex issues and difficult portfolios while helming the Health and National Development ministries.

The first hint of change came last Friday, when Mr Khaw, who has been National Development Minister since 2011, announced on his Facebook page that he was anticipating that the Cabinet reshuffle would “affect” him. He then suggested that his destination was one that the “bookies” were clear about. 

When Singapore had to deal with its worst health scare in recent times with the 2003 severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) crisis, Mr Khaw was part of a Government team which tackled the crisis even though he was not with the Health Ministry (MOH) then.

He later took over MOH and has been responsible for reforming MediShield and restoring public confidence in the charity sector after public uproar over misuse of funds at the National Kidney Foundation. 

He then volunteered to tackle the prickly issues facing the National Development Ministry after the 2011 General Election. Since taking over, he has overseen measures to cool the runaway cost of private and public housing, fuelled the construction of more HDB flats and helped different groups, such as singles, buy flats. 

His successes have led many to believe that Minister Fix-It, as he has been called, will be given the challenging transport portfolio, one that has seen three ministers in the last nine years deal with rising COE prices, unhappy commuters, overcrowded buses and trains, and service breakdowns. Should Mr Khaw get the Transport Minister job, he would be a good fit, said transport and political analysts. 

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