Indian-origin is new foreign minister of Singapore

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Singapore: K Shanmugam, an Indian-origin lawyer was on Wednesday appointed as Singapore`s new foreign affairs minister, as Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong reshuffled his cabinet, with the party old guard making way for younger leaders.

Sweeping cabinet revamp was done after the ruling People`s Action Party (PAP) suffered a major poll setback on May 7. The new cabinet will be sworn in on May 21.

The party old guard, led by his father Lee Kuan Yew and Goh Chok Tong, both former prime ministers, are out of the new cabinet.

Lee appointed Tamil-origin lawyer K Shanmugam,52, as the new Foreign Affairs Minister.

Shanmugam has also retained his law ministry portfolio in one of the big cabinet reshuffle after the May 7 General Election where the ruling People`s Action Party (PAP) secured 81 of the 87 parliamentary seats but on a reduced vote percentage of slightly over 60.

Lee has retained Teo Chee Hean as Deputy Prime Minister and given him additional responsibility as Coordinating Minister for National Security & Minister Home Affairs.

Teo was formerly a Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister. Lee has also promoted Tharman Shanmugaratnam to Deputy Prime Minister, as well as Minister of Finance and Manpower. He was formerly Finance Minister.

The PAP lost two ministers in the May election including Foreign Minister George Yeo.

Following the election, Lee`s father and Singapore`s first Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew decided not to continue in the government.

For the mid-term review, Lee said he "will make further changes as new team shakes down and people establish themselves." Lee said he was expected to review the cabinet appointments within the next two years.

Singapore`s second Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong has also opted out of the government, joining Lee, the 87 year old architect of modern Singapore.

However, the elder Lee would be appointed senior advisor to the Government Investment Corp.

Goh would have the honorary title of Emeritus Senior Minister and would be appointed the senior advisor the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

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