Singapore's 4G team addresses leadership succession issue

The front runners to take over from Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong include (from left) Chan Chun Sing, Heng Swee Keat and Ong Ye Kung.
The front runners to take over from Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong include (from left) Chan Chun Sing, Heng Swee Keat and Ong Ye Kung. PHOTOS: ST FILE

In a nod to swirling questions on who Singapore's next prime minister will be, 16 ministers and office-holders issued a rare statement yesterday saying that they will choose a leader among themselves "in good time".

Education Minister (Higher Education and Skills) Ong Ye Kung said he had someone in mind for the top job, without naming the person. Mr Ong is himself tipped as one of three front runners in the race, along with Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat and Minister in the Prime Minister's Office Chan Chun Sing.

Recent comments by Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong, who said he hoped the next prime minister would be designated within six to nine months, had lent a sense of urgency to the process, a point acknowledged by the 16, who said they are "keenly aware that leadership succession is a pressing issue".

The statement also marked the first time the fourth-generation cohort has been defined so explicitly.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 05, 2018, with the headline 'Singapore's 4G team addresses leadership succession issue'. Print Edition | Subscribe