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Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to step down on May 15, Deputy Wong to succeed

Wong has been prime minister-in-waiting since April 2022after the previous anointed successor stepped aside unexpectedly and derailed the carefully choreographed leadership transition typical in the affluent Asian financial centre.

Edited By: Ajeet Kumar @Ajeet1994 Singapore Published on: April 15, 2024 15:33 IST
Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong
Image Source : AP Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong

Singapore: Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Monday said he will step down on May 15 and announced that he will be succeeded by his deputy Lawrence Wong. The date for the handover was announced in a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office.

In a Facebook post, Lee, 72, said leadership transition is a significant moment for any country. "I will relinquish my role as Prime Minister on May 15 2024, and DPM Lawrence Wong will be sworn in as the next Prime Minister on the same day," the statement said.

Lee has been serving as the 3rd Prime Minister of Singapore and Secretary-General of the ruling People's Action Party since 2004. “Lawrence and the 4G team have worked hard to gain the people’s trust, notably during the pandemic,” he said. “Through the Forward Singapore exercise, they have worked with many Singaporeans to refresh our social compact and develop the national agenda for a new generation.”

Wong accepts responsibility

In a video statement posted on Facebook, Wong said: "I accept this responsibility with humility and a deep sense of duty. I pledge to give my all to this undertaking." Wong is also deputy chairman of sovereign wealth fund GIC and chairman of the Monetary Authority of Singapore, the Southeast Asian nation's central bank.

In addition, he spearheaded a national exercise called Forward Singapore meant to chart the country's "social compact" between the government and the people on how to deal with issues ranging from sustainability to inequality and employment. Still, National University of Singapore political scientist Chong Ja Ian said it was hard to tell what kind of prime minister Wong would be.

"No one knows to be honest. Up until now, Wong has not given people a sense of his political vision," said Chong.

Chong added that while a leader who doesn't rock the boat may have been more welcome in the past, "given that Singapore is in a more uncertain world today, more of the same may not be good enough".

(With inputs from agencies)

Also Read: India-Singapore bilateral trade grew 18.2 per cent to USD 35.6 billion in FY 2022-23

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