SINGAPORE - Finance Minister Lawrence Wong has been named as the leader of the ruling People's Action Party's (PAP) fourth-generation (4G) team.
This paves the way for him to be Singapore's next prime minister.
Cabinet ministers affirmed their choice of Mr Wong, 49, as the leader of the 4G team on Thursday (April 14). The decision was then endorsed by all government MPs in a party caucus.
This is the full statement from Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who is PAP secretary-general:
After a process of consultation, Cabinet ministers affirmed today their choice of Minister Lawrence Wong as the leader of the 4G team. This decision was endorsed by all Government MPs in a party caucus this evening.
When Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat stepped aside as the leader of the 4G in April last year, the 4G requested time to arrive at a consensus as to who should lead them. They had to focus then on the Covid-19 pandemic.
The 4G team has worked closely together through the past two years of the pandemic, and had the opportunity to better understand each other's strengths. With the pandemic situation stabilised, we are now able to relook the issue of succession.
After consulting the Ministers, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong asked former Cabinet Minister and People's Action Party Chairman Mr Khaw Boon Wan to start a process involving the Ministers, as well as Speaker Tan Chuan-Jin and NTUC Secretary-General Ng Chee Meng. Mr Khaw met each one of them individually, to sound out their personal views in confidence and to facilitate a new consensus on a 4G leader. The views of the Prime Minister and the two Senior Ministers were not sought.
Mr Khaw found that the overwhelming majority of those consulted, supported Minister Wong as the leader. Earlier today, Mr Khaw briefed Cabinet Ministers, as well as the Speaker and NTUC Secretary-General, on his findings, and all endorsed the decision for Minister Wong to lead the team. This decision was subsequently presented to and endorsed by People's Action Party MPs this evening.
With this decision, the Prime Minister will make adjustments to Cabinet appointments. These will be announced in due course.
This decision on succession is a crucial one for Singapore. It will ensure the continuity and stability of leadership that are the hallmarks of our system.
The Ministers recognise that the right to lead cannot be inherited. Mr Lawrence Wong and his younger team will continue to give their best to Singaporeans, and justify their trust and support.