SINGAPORE – Singapore’s elder statesman Lee Kuan Yew said Wednesday that he expects his People’s Action Party to win the next two elections to extend its grip on power by as much as 10 more years.
“I don’t see any problem in the next election or probably in the next one after that,” Lee, 85, said at a dinner to mark the fifth anniversary of a college named after him.
“But if we don’t find a good team in the election after that, and the opposition gets a good team together, we are at risk.”
Lee, who founded the PAP and was Singapore’s first prime minister from 1959 to 1990, remains a powerful figure in the Cabinet and in the party. The PAP is the only party to have ruled Singapore.
The current government was elected in 2006. The next elections are set for 2011.
Lee, who now has the title of mentor minister, said even if the opposition took power by a “freak result,” it won’t be allowed to fire top police, army and other officials without the approval of the president, who is appointed by a committee of government officials.
Lee, who is the father of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, said an opposition government would by law also need the president’s approval to tap international reserves, indicating it would not be given.
Otherwise “all our hard-earned savings could go in five years,” he said. “I spent 15 years thinking up these safeguards.”