Next PM will do well with support from Cabinet, people

Singapore is not the only country bedevilled with the problem of leadership succession (ESM Goh says 4G leadership an urgent challenge; Jan 2).

Many countries do not even have a good government in place, never mind succession plans.

So, on balance, Singapore is not in dire straits, and we should be grateful.

One oft-cited concern though, is that the learning curve for a prime minister here is getting shorter.

New blood has always been infused in every election. If possible, young "star performers" should be fast tracked, so as to ensure a long enough learning curve for future PMs.

But at times, it is not possible to identify a "star performer" early.

It would be far better if we appreciate the very strong plus factors we already have in Singapore politics - racial harmony, strong institutions and a sound democracy.

It is important that the Prime Minister has the support of his Cabinet. The Singapore Cabinet has always been known for team work, unlike many governments the world over, which are plagued with rampant infighting and gridlock.

More crucially, the PM needs the support of the people.

With these factors in our favour, and as long as the country does not become a gerontocracy,we should have confidence that whoever the future PM is, Singapore will continue to do well.

Wong Horng Ginn

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 04, 2018, with the headline 'Next PM will do well with support from Cabinet, people'. Print Edition | Subscribe