Singapore Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat suffered a stroke and collapsed during a cabinet meeting on Thursday and Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam was named to cover his duties.
Heng, 54, who had been tipped as a potential successor to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, was recovering in hospital after surgery, the prime minister’s office said.
“Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam will be covering the duties of the minister for finance with immediate effect,” it said in a statement.
Tharman, 59, stepped down from his role as finance minister in October after Lee inducted younger people in key ministries as part of preparations for a leadership transition.
Tharman was named the coordinating minister for economic and social policies and also continued as the chairman of the Monetary Authority of Singapore, the central bank.
“Heng Swee Keat had a sudden stroke due to an aneurysm, which is a localized weakening of a blood vessel. He underwent initial neurosurgery to relieve pressure in his brain due to the bleeding,” the statement from the prime minister’s office said. Read more