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Beware of populist agenda in selecting next prime minister

The succession planning for the next prime minister is a hot topic being discussed among many Singaporeans ("Countdown to next PM picks up speed"; last Sunday).

Singaporeans hope that the future prime minister will not only be efficient, effective and a pragmatic leader, but also be a person who can empathise with and inspire citizens.

He should earn his spurs, and not just project a "populist" image to gather support.

The populist agenda is becoming apparent among aspiring leaders in some European countries, and is reportedly gaining ground with the young generation of voters.

The aim is to wrest power from the traditional political parties, which are often accused of not being in tune with the times. This could be very dangerous when exaggerated or false promises are made to sway the voters.

Singapore, as a multiracial, democratic country, can only hope that its younger generation will make the right choices for the future.

Young voters must take a closer look at who will lead the nation and be more discerning in making their choice, as it is their future, their children's future and the people's future at stake.

Adrian Villanueva

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on September 11, 2016, with the headline 'Beware of populist agenda in selecting next prime minister'. Print Edition | Subscribe