Comment: After years of speculation, S'pore's 3rd leadership transition draws to a close

1 month ago 35

Lawrence Wong will officially take over from Lee Hsien Loong as prime minister on May 15, exactly a month from when it was announced on Apr. 15.

This will mark the end of Singapore's third prime ministerial transition, and what is almost ten years of unyielding speculation that ranged from when exactly PM Lee intended to step down (despite attempts to do so), to who would be taking over (twice).

Much of this has been borne out in what can only be described as somewhere between soothsaying and reading tea leaves, combined with an unhealthy amount of cherry picking.

If I had a dollar for every ironclad permutation of factors that would decide the next prime minister, I wouldn't be rich, but I could probably eat for a month.

Come what May

But so far the only true common factor between Singapore's prime ministerial transitions is that the announcement of the date took place the month before the actual transition.

Everything else is speculation.

In 1990, Goh Chok Tong took over from Lee Kuan Yew on Nov 28, with the date being confirmed in mid-September; and in 2004, PM Lee Hsien Loong, took over from Goh on Aug. 12, with the initial announcement coming in July.

There are certainly paired commonalities, such as both Wong and Goh were declared successors the year before they took up the reigns.

The senior Lee had confirmed that Goh would become prime minister in his New Year's Day speech, released on the last day of 1989.

Wong was announced almost exactly two years ago as the choice of the People's Action Party's Fourth Generation (4G) leaders to be PM Lee's successor.

In November 2023, during the PAP's party conference, PM Lee said that he

Read Entire Article