Singapore's Next Leader to Be Chosen in 'Not-Too-Distant Future'

Singapore Education Minister Ong Ye Kung. (File photo: Yahoo News Singapore)

By Michelle Jamrisko

Singapore’s well-publicised succession plan has been in place for several years and a decision on the next prime minister isn’t too far away, according to Singapore Education Minister Ong Ye Kung, one of several men seen as a leading candidate for the job.

In an interview with Bloomberg this week, we asked Ong about the selection of the ruling People’s Action Party’s next candidate for prime minister. Here’s what he said:

Question: “You’re often named as one of the candidates to be the next prime minister, and I’m wondering what would you think Singaporeans should be looking for in their next leader, and what would make you want to take that position?”

Ong: “The expectations should not be different from previous leaders. First of all, integrity above all. We take pride in having a government that has zero tolerance toward corruption.

“Second, to be capable, to be able to work with a team that can think long-term for Singapore, put in place good policies and at the same time able to listen to the people, taking feedback and able to adjust policies that best serve the people.

“Finally, I would think able to mobilise – mobilise different communities, different groups, all of Singaporeans, to be able to unite and work together.

“We have a fourth generation, a new generation, of younger ministers. We are working together closely, getting to know each other better. These things you can’t rush, but at some point in the not-too-distant future, we will be able to select a leader amongst us.”

Just a few months ago, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong told parliament that a clear leader will emerge before the country’s next general election. A vote must be held by early 2021.


© 2018 Bloomberg L.P