Leadership model of continuity to apply in upcoming transition: Chan Chun Sing

Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing noted that having leaders who can put aside their individual differences to work for a country's benefit is a key factor in the nation's success.
Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing noted that having leaders who can put aside their individual differences to work for a country's benefit is a key factor in the nation's success.PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

SINGAPORE - The leadership model in Singapore is "one of continuity", and this can be expected in the country's upcoming transition at the highest ranks, said Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing on Thursday (Nov 22).

He was responding to a question by Asia House chief executive Michael Lawrence at a regional conference organised by the Britain-based centre of expertise on Asia.

Citing a news report, Mr Lawrence asked if the ruling People's Action Party (PAP) will announce on Friday its line-up of the party's top fourth-generation leaders.

Mr Chan said: "Our leadership model is one of continuity, and I think we can all expect that. The way we do business, and the way we relate to the world, is that we provide a certain predictability, a certain continuity, to how we do things."

It was earlier reported that the announcement on Friday will give Singaporeans a good sense of who is likely to take over from Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong as leader of the PAP and as the country's fourth prime minister.

The party's top decision-making body met on Wednesday to finalise its choice of first assistant secretary-general, as well as the rest of its slate of new office-holders, sources had earlier told The Straits Times.

Asked about the matter on Thursday, Mr Chan said: "There are artificialities when people divide the leadership into different generations, but there are also similarities across each and every generation.

"We have been fortunate in Singapore, not because we think that we have leaders who are more clever than others. But we'd like to pride ourselves on having a leadership model that is stronger than the sum of the individual parts."

Noting that having leaders who can put aside their individual differences to work for a country's benefit is a key factor in the nation's success, he said that Singapore has been able to find leadership teams that abide by this.

"The younger generation of leaders are similarly focused on this, building the strongest team for Singapore to ensure that every generation of Singaporeans can continue this dream of ours, to stay sovereign, independent, successful," said Mr Chan.

He added: "For each generation of Singaporeans, our definition of success is not how well we do for ourselves, but how well we enable the next generation to do even better for themselves.

"And that is how we will continue to take this country forward."