Singapore GE2020: 4G leaders stepped up, and did very well in Covid-19 crisis, says PM Lee

The pandemic was a baptism of fire for the 4G leadership, who helmed the country's response.
The pandemic was a baptism of fire for the 4G leadership, who helmed the country's response.ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN

The PAP's fourth-generation leaders have acquitted themselves well in leading the fight against Covid-19, and shown Singaporeans what they can do, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said yesterday.

PM Lee, the PAP's secretary-general, asked Singaporeans to support the party in the upcoming general election, so that the 4G team would have a "good start to establish themselves and take Singapore the next step forward".

Asked for his assessment of the 4G leadership's handling of the pandemic at a virtual press conference after the nomination of candidates for the coming election, PM Lee said it was a "serious fight", and the 4G leaders had stepped up and kept Singapore safe.

"I would say that in handling Covid-19, the 4G leaders have done very well," said PM Lee.

"They've been on the front line. They've been chairing the ministerial task force. They've been directing the whole-of-government response, the public communications, the presentation, the explanations, the mobilisation of our people to understand, to accept the very many intrusive and inconvenient measures which we have to take to keep ourselves safe from Covid-19."

The pandemic was a baptism of fire for the 4G leadership who helmed the country's response. Some observers have noted that the opposition could find fault with their handling of the crisis and turn it into an election issue.

The Government's multi-ministry task force directing Singapore's response against the disease is co-chaired by National Development Minister Lawrence Wong, and advised by Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat.

Various other 4G leaders, including Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing, Manpower Minister Josephine Teo and Education Minister Ong Ye Kung, have taken charge of other aspects of the nation's response.

PM Lee said the coming GE will be an "important step" in the PAP's renewal process.

He added that a good result for the PAP would be an endorsement for the 4G team, the party's strategies, and its renewal process.

PM Lee has stated his intention for his successor to take over in the next term of government, before he turns 70 in 2022.

ON ELECTION OUTCOME

If you have an election at the end of which you have, let's say, even a very overwhelming majority, but the minority who voted against you are extremely, intensely unhappy with the outcome, the country is divided, there is a lack of trust, mutual lack of respect... I think that's a bad outcome.

PRIME MINISTER LEE HSIEN LOONG 

ON TACKLING COVID-19

I would say that in handling Covid-19, the 4G leaders have done very well... They've been directing the whole-of-government response, the public communications, the presentation, the explanations, the mobilisation of our people to understand, to accept the very many intrusive and inconvenient measures which we have to take to keep ourselves safe from Covid-19.

PM LEE 

This is the ninth election that PM Lee will be contesting since he was elected in 1984.

This is the ninth election that PM Lee will be contesting since he was elected in 1984.

But when asked if the disruption caused by Covid-19 would cause a change in that timeline, he replied: "I very much hope that Covid-19 will not disturb my plans, but Covid-19 is a very wily and dangerous virus, and we will have to see how things develop on that front."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 01, 2020, with the headline '4G leaders stepped up, and did very well in Covid-19 crisis: PM'. Print Edition | Subscribe