4G leaders need more time, space

Every generation has its challenges - from the early existential threats to our survival as a nation to the present keeping ourselves relevant in a fast changing world.

If leaders need to be tested by baptism of fire, it is apparent that the fires are different.

A wartime leader may prove ineffective during peace time. One steeped in ideology may fail miserably in developing the economy (Where is the fresh vision from 4G leaders?; Nov 19).

The litmus test of what makes a good leader from past eras may prove unfair to our leaders today.

But can Singaporeans agree on what they want from this batch of 4G leaders given that we have become more divergent as a people - cutting across race, language, religion and, more recently, class?

Even the heartland is not as homogeneous as in the past. Crafting a vision and selling it to the populace may prove to be a tall order as Singaporeans have grown divergent in aspirations.

Not just on the domestic front should we give 4G leaders time and space, the tectonic geopolitical shifts in the region demand a rethink too.

The new digital economy which brings about huge disruption to mankind also calls for innovation in thinking and leadership.

No one can predict with great accuracy what the future brings but doing nothing is not an option.

Amid change, we should be thankful that there are still devoted men out to chart the course for our nation.

It does not help to speculate on the succession issue as it puts undue pressure on the 4G leaders.

After all, the 3G leaders are still active and able. If they need more time to learn the ropes, let us give them that. The future of Singapore cannot be hastily decided.

Lee Teck Chuan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 21, 2018, with the headline '4G leaders need more time, space'. Print Edition | Subscribe