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Surviving the poisoned chalice

After Friday’s Cabinet reshuffle, Singapore will have a new Transport Minister come 15 May - current Minister for Communications and Information and West Coast GRC Member of Parliament S. Iswaran.


This means incumbent Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung will have survived the poisoned chalice that is the Transport Ministry portfolio, with his political career still very much intact - he will go on to become Health Minister.

Survivor - Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung. Credit: The Straits Times.

In all, Ong will have served in the Transport Ministry for just nine months.


The previous (and first) four Transport Ministers saw their ministerial careers end with the portfolio:


1. Yeo Cheow Tong (2001-2006) - stepped down from the Cabinet.

Credit: Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts Collection, courtesy of National Archives of Singapore.

2. Raymond Lim (2006-2011) - stepped down from the Cabinet.

Credit: The Straits Times.

3. Lui Tuck Yew (2011-2015) - retired from politics.

Credit: Today.

4. Khaw Boon Wan (2015-2020) - retired from politics.

Credit: Ken Tham.

(Of the four ministers above, I couldn’t find a photo of Raymond Lim taking the train. Ong Ye Kung is exempted because his period of service is so short.)

Now, let’s see whether S. Iswaran will beat the curse too! All the best!

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