A petition on Change.org has emerged calling for Singaporeans to reject the Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing from becoming Singapore’s next Prime Minister.
The petition, titled “Say NO to Chan Chun Sing for PM!”, was started by an user calling themselves “Singapore First” just hours after Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat announced on Thursday (8 April) in a press conference that he will no longer be running to be Singapore’s next Prime Minister.
In the message that came along with the petition, it said that it will be their “worst fear” and “disastrous for Singapore” if Mr Chan is picked as the next PM, replacing Mr Lee Hsien Loong upon his retirement.
“If you too cares for our political future, please sign this petition to voice our concern, and persuade PM Lee not to put up Chan Chun Sing,” the message read.
As of Monday afternoon (12 April), 5,244 signatures have been garnered, with many explaining why they don’t think Mr Chan is deemed fit to be the next PM.
However, someone else decided to create another new online petition on Change.org expressing their support for the Deputy Chairman of the People’s Association to be Singapore’s next PM.
Created by someone addressing themselves by Love SG, this petition is called “Say YES to Chan Chun Sing for PM!”
The message for this petition recycles a Facebook post that penned down several achievements of the Member of Parliament for Tanjong Pagar GRC.
Some of them include him being inducted into the hall of fame of the United States Army Command and General Staff College, as well as being conferred the “Distinguished Master Strategist Award” in 1998 at the college.
“Under his watch, MTI attracted investments that exceeded target in challenging circumstances, creating thousands of jobs for Singaporeans,” the message noted.
It added, “Like the rest of the PAP Ministers, he serves Singapore with this whole heart and soul, putting Singapore and Singaporeans’ interests first.”
This petition has garnered just 836 signatures so far.
Mr Chan is one of the members in People’s Action Party’s (PAP) fourth generation (4G) leadership team and is seen as one of the front runners to replace Mr Heng as the leader of the 4G team, which will then make him the country’s next PM after PM Lee retires. At least based on a 9 April article by national news outlet The Straits Time which highlights four potential successors to Mr Heng.
Other ministers who are part of the 4G team and highlighted by ST are Education Minister Lawrence Wong, Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung, as well as Minister for National Development Desmond Lee.
According to the article, Mr Chan ranks highest among the four as second assistant secretary-general. Mr Heng, who is first assistant secretary-general, had appointed Mr Chan as his deputy.
During the Thursday’s press conference, Mr Chan, who was also present at the event along with other 4G team members and PM Lee, was asked if he will now be the next in line to take on Mr Heng’s role.
To this, he said that Mr Heng’s latest decision gives a chance for the 4G to relook its succession plan.
“We were all working on the basis that the issue of succession had been settled. We were all entirely focused on making sure that Singapore can get through the Covid situation and emerge stronger. Now that DPM has decided to step aside, we will need to relook the issue of succession,” he said.
He added, “DPM Heng chose me as his deputy in 2018 and the team supported it. Now that DPM has decided to step aside as the leader of the 4G, the 4G team should be given the opportunity to relook the question of succession holistically and we will make a collective decision on who will be the next leader of the 4G in due course.”