Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office Chan Chun Sing said that the next premier of Singapore will not be someone who causes “huge discontinuity”.
Calling the fourth generation of Singapore leaders – which includes himself – a “finite permutation”, Chan noted, “In Singapore, you’re not going to expect as if, if person A becomes the Prime Minister versus person B, that the direction is going to be so diametrically opposite as to cause a huge discontinuity or disruption.”
Speaking to members of the Foreign Correspondents Association (FCA) at a lunch forum on Monday (30 October), Chan was responding to a question from Yahoo News Singapore on whether he would be the next PM, and if he wanted to become Singapore’s fourth post-independence leader.
He added, “You can have confidence that there will be business continuity in Singapore. You can be assured that the team of people are trying their level best to not only have business continuity, but constantly reinvent ourselves to stay relevant to the world”
Pressed by moderator Sharanjit Leyl, who is the FCA President, on whether he wanted the job, Chan said, “All of us have to be prepared to do the job when called upon. And I will just repeat what Minister Khaw Boon Wan shared with us: in Singapore, leadership is a responsibility to be borne, not a position to be sought.”
The 48-year-old is considered a leading contender to be the next Prime Minister, alongside peers such as Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills) Ong Ye Kung and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat. Tan Chuan-Jin, another apparent contender, was appointed Speaker of Parliament in September.
PM Lee Hsien Loong has said that his successor will be chosen via consensus by the younger ministers in his Cabinet.
In a survey commissioned by Yahoo News Singapore last year, almost 70 per cent of Singaporean respondents said they would choose Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam to be the next PM.
Other Singapore stories: