PM Lee says choosing his potential successor will take 'a bit longer': reports

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi shake hands during a photo opportunity ahead of their meeting at Hyderabad House in New Delhi, India, January 25, 2018. (PHOTO: Adnan Abidi/Reuters)

The timeline to announce his potential successor will “probably take a bit longer” than the end of this year, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on the sidelines of the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit in New Delhi, India, on Friday (26 January), according to media reports.

Responding to queries from reporters on whether he was prepared to announce a potential successor by the end of this year, Lee said, “If it’s settled, everybody will know, but my assessment is that it will probably take a bit longer”.

In reference to an earlier Facebook post by Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong on the urgency of having fourth-generation leadership settled this year,  Lee said that Goh was “speaking with the privilege of watching things”.

On 31 December last year, Goh, who was Lee’s predecessor as prime minister, wrote that he hopes the identity of Singapore’s next premier will be decided in the next six to nine months.

Lee also referred to the impending Cabinet reshuffle –  set to take place after the announcement of the Budget in February – as a “significant step in exposing and building the new team of leaders”. He added that  the younger ministers will also “need a bit of time for Singaporeans to get a feel of them not just be known as public figures, but to be responsible for significant policies”.

Lee added that no new Deputy PMs will be appointed during the reshuffle.

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