PM Lee announces Cabinet reshuffle: Lawrence Wong to be Finance Minister, Ong Ye Kung to take over Health and Chan Chun Sing to helm Education
23-Apr-2021 The Straits Times
Education Minister Lawrence Wong will helm the Ministry of Finance, in the latest Cabinet reshuffle announced by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Friday (April 23).
The changes will take effect from May 15.
Replacing him at the Education Ministry will be Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing, who in turn will relinquish his portfolio to Health Minister Gan Kim Yong.
Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung will take over from Mr Gan as Health Minister, and co-chair the multi-ministry task force handling Covid-19 with Mr Lawrence Wong.
The Cabinet reshuffle will see seven of the 15 ministries helmed by new ministers.
Communications and Information Minister S. Iswaran will be Minister for Transport, with Manpower Minister Josephine Teo replacing him at the ministry.
Second Minister for Manpower Tan See Leng will move up to helm the Ministry of Manpower in her place. He will continue as the Second Minister for Trade and Industry.
“Vaccine passport” likely on the travel horizon for Singapore
19-Apr-2021 The Business Times
An accepted travel pass would issue an easily identifiable tick of approval for passengers who have the authoritative digital credentials, as well as the encrypted records of their vaccination record, to present during their clearance at border control points.Entrust
As news surfaced about travel corridors opening up for vaccinated passengers in the second half of 2021, the prospect of the “vaccine passport” being an integral part of international travel suddenly seems very real.
The pandemic has brought the clearance process at border checkpoints to a new level of vigilance—on top of identity validation and authentication, travellers’ health is now also factored into the equation. Around the globe, many countries are exploring novel ideas to revive international travel, which in many ways has been an essential social and business component for decades. With the production and distribution of Covid-19 vaccines ramping up, this goal might soon be realised—with the help of a digital vaccine tracking system.
The “vaccine passport”, or vaccine “green pass” — as coined by the European Commission this month, is a form of e-certificate that provides proof both of vaccination and Covid-19 test results. China announced the rollout of its vaccine passport in March and such immunity credentials would complement Singapore’s National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme and allow the country to accelerate plans to kickstart international flights with greater confidence — reconnecting Singapore with the world.
The Prospects for ‘Global Britain’ in Southeast Asia
The U.K.’s engagement with Southeast Asia will be a test of London’s claim to a major role on the world stage.
20-Apr-2021 The Diplomat
Last week, U.K. Foreign Minister Dominic Raab visited Indonesia and Brunei Darussalam in order to forge closer trade and security ties with the two countries and discuss future cooperation on a range of global challenges. Besides having high-level meetings with Indonesian President Joko Widodo and Sultan of Brunei Hassanal Bolkiah, in addition to his foreign ministerial counterparts, Raab also met ASEAN Secretary General Lim Jock Hoi to reiterate Britain’s commitment as a new dialogue partner to the Southeast Asian bloc. On April 8, the U.K. also held a Troika Dialogue with ASEAN countries mainly to discuss the post-pandemic economic recovery, in which ASEAN officials sought more U.K. support for the region’s efforts to tackle the contagion.
This intensifying diplomatic engagement is part of the U.K.’s “Global Britain” agenda, formulated following its exit from the European Union, in which Southeast Asia looms as a logical focus.
Singapore is Asia’s highest-ranking country on WEF’s energy transition list
21-Apr-2021 Straits Times
The World Economic Forum ranked Singapore ahead of all Asian countries in its Energy Transition Index (ETI) 2021 that reflects the progress towards a more inclusive, sustainable, affordable and secure energy system.
The index that benchmarks 115 countries also assesses their readiness to energy transition and the current performance of energy systems across the three dimensions of the energy triangle: economic development and growth, environmental sustainability, and energy security and access indicators.
This year’s report used a revised ETI methodology, which takes into account recent changes in the global energy landscape and the increasing urgency of climate change action.