Peaceful leadership succession model allows Singapore to prosper

The willingness of the veteran ministers in the current third-generation leadership team to step down graciously so that new leaders can take over is admirable (PAP sets stage for Heng to be PM; Nov 23).

This clearly shows that the veteran ministers are thinking beyond their personal interests and putting the interests of the nation first.

The 4G team did not come together by chance or coincidence. It took deliberate planning and scouting around for talent.

The careful selection and bringing together of a cohesive fourth-generation team is an admirable feat by the current 3G team, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his comrades-in-arms.

In other countries, political leadership transition often involves acrimonious infighting and jostling for power and positions.

Singapore is fortunate to have developed its own peaceful model for leadership succession, one which ensures that only the best and most suitable people qualify.

Both leadership transitions so far - from founding prime minister Lee Kuan Yew to Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong, and from Mr Goh to PM Lee - were smooth.

Such a model creates a strong and united Cabinet, which is critical to forming an effective government.

Institutionalising this ideal model for leadership succession puts Singapore in good stead to survive and prosper in the volatile and complex world we live in today.

Daniel Tay Xiong Sheng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 30, 2018, with the headline 'Peaceful leadership succession model allows S'pore to prosper'. Print Edition | Subscribe