Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced on Saturday that Finance Minister Lawrence Wong would take over as Singapore’s leader.
According to an announcement on Thursday, Wong was picked as the leader of the ruling People’s Action Party’s (PAP) so-called fourth generation team, opening the path for him to become Prime Minister.
“The aim is for Lawrence to succeed me as Prime Minister either before or after the next General Election (assuming the PAP wins).” “It’s due in 2025 and will undoubtedly be a tough fight,” Lee wrote on Saturday on social media.
Lee has been Prime Minister since 2004, and his father, Lee Kwan Yew, was the island nation’s independence leader.
In a region where political turmoil is typical, stability has always been one of affluent Singapore’s greatest assets, making it a shelter for investors and entrepreneurs.
Analysts had identified Wong, 49, as a possible successor to Lee, 70, after he helped shepherd the Southeast Asian city-state through the COVID-19 pandemic as co-chair of the government’s taskforce.
Leadership succession in the country, which has been governed by the PAP since its independence in 1965, is usually meticulously arranged.
However, last year’s unexpected decision by Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat to step down as Lee’s designated successor threw a wrench in the works.
“I am already 70 years old, and I am looking forward to passing the baton to Lawrence when he is ready,” Lee said at a press conference. He stated that the decision on whether he or Wong would lead the party into the next general election would be made later.
Singapore is seeking to maintain and expand its reputation as an international trade hub after overcoming travel restrictions and rigorous regulations that made it a pandemic success story.
When asked about the country’s biggest concerns, Wong responded, “The pandemic is not over; we have to get through it.”
“The war in Ukraine has created significant economic concerns, not least the danger of greater and more sustained inflation and poorer growth.”
In order to position itself in a more “complicated, dangerous, and uncertain environment,” he said, the country will have to look beyond the horizon.