Who would you vote for, should there be an open election for the position of Prime Minister from the People’s Action Party cabinet?
“I am ready,” Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said that he is ready when asked during a CNBC interview in 2017 whether he was ready to step down in a couple of years.
“What I need to make sure of is somebody is ready to take over from me.” said PM Lee and shared “there are people in the wings. The question is, who it will be and that will need to be decided.”
“Oh, I think it’s very likely that he would be in the cabinet already but which one, well that would take a while to…to account.”
A joint statement on 4 Jan by 16 members of the Cabinet states that “a leader, amongst them, will be chosen in good time.”The statement signed by the Cabinet ministers and office holders, saying, “The younger ministers are keenly aware that leadership succession is a pressing issue and that Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong intends to step down after the next general election.”
“We are conscious of our responsibility, are working closely together as a team, and will settle on a leader from among us in good time,” it added.
However, when speaking about the leadership transition recently, PM Lee said, “Also, they (4th gen ministers) need a bit of time for Singaporeans to get a feel of them – not just to be known as public figures, but to be responsible for significant policies… carrying them, justifying them, defending them, adapting them, making them work, and showing that they deserve to lead,”
He added, “I would not be able to say for certain that it will be settled within the next six to nine months, but it will have to be done in good time.”
Next Prime Minister in cabinet, but voters are not really excited about supposed replacement
Given that it is certain by now that the next PM will be chosen from someone already within the cabinet, mainstream media have unanimously narrowed the selection of Prime Minister to Mr Heng Swee Keat, Mr Ong Ye Kun and Mr Chan Chun Sing in their analysis of the potential candidate to take over PM Lee.
But political observers are pretty sure that a candidate has already been selected by the party and the ground is just being prepped for the eventual announcement.
Despite being powerless to make any difference, citizens have voiced their concerns over the apparent candidate that has been predetermined and foreshadowed to the public at large. Many also continue to voice their support and wish that well-respected and qualified DPM Tharman will take up the premiership after PM Lee but Mr Tharman has on many occasions expressed no interest in taking up the top seat.
So if the decision to appoint the next Prime Minister was left to the voters, who would you choose from the current cabinet as our next PM?