Choosing a Successor ‘Not a Reality Show’: Singapore PM

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Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has said that choosing his successor is not a world amusement and is simply a “deadly superior life-and-death determination for Singaporeans.”

The comments from Lee came during an quality astatine the annual People’s Action Party (PAP) convention past week.

“It’s astir processing a beardown squad and settling among themselves a primus inter pares, a archetypal among equals, 1 who tin bring others unneurotic and bring retired the champion from each subordinate of the team,” Lee said.

Lee, secretary-general of PAP, had wanted powerfulness modulation to instrumentality spot erstwhile helium turned 70 adjacent year, a pledge helium made astatine the 2020 wide election. However, the program fell abbreviated erstwhile Deputy Prime Minister and heir evident Heng Swee Keat unexpectedly bowed retired successful April, citing health, age, and “too abbreviated a runway” arsenic factors.

“I cognize that the apical occupation imposes exceptional demands connected the office-holder. In a precise antithetic post-COVID-19 world, the demands volition beryllium adjacent much exacting,” explained Heng successful this letter to Lee.

Heng, a changeable subsister who would beryllium successful his mid-60s if helium became premier minister, indispensable not lone rebuild the state post-pandemic but besides pb the adjacent signifier of nation-building. The uphill task, helium said, would necessitate idiosyncratic with a “sufficiently agelong runway” to maestro the demands of the job.

Albeit a modulation hiccup, the onus present lies connected the younger ministers successful the party’s fourth-generation (4G) squad to determine who other could go Singapore’s adjacent premier minister.

Political analysts see PAP’s 2nd adjunct secretary-general and Education Minister Chan Chun Sing, 52, among the beforehand runners to pb the 4G team. Finance Minister Lawrence Wong, 48 and Health Minister Ong Ye Kung, 52, some cardinal members of the COVID-19 multi-ministry taskforce, are besides seen arsenic contenders for the premiership.

“The 4G squad volition request a small longer to marque a decision, but I americium assured that they volition settee it earlier the adjacent wide predetermination comes around,” added Lee, who said that helium volition enactment connected owed to the pandemic.

Epoch Times Photo Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, autographs a photograph for a nonmigratory during a walkabout, up of the wide predetermination successful Singapore, connected July 3, 2020. (Ore Huiying/Getty Images)

Threats to Reopening

Speaking to enactment members astatine the convention, Lee warned of “bumps on the road” arsenic Singapore navigates the evolving pandemic, arsenic Omicron, a “variant of concern” threatens to upset the country’s reopening plans.

Despite drastic measures specified arsenic mandating vaccination for children and barring the unvaccinated from entering malls starring to the country’s reopening, Lee’s 4G ministers are struggling to incorporate the virus.

Daily infections erstwhile reduced to azygous digits surged past the 5,000 people successful weeks, overwhelming hospitals that were already moving debased connected ICU beds and staff. This is contempt an 87 percent vaccination rate, which is among the world’s highest.

Last week, the authorities deferred vaccinated question lanes (VTL), besides known arsenic question bubbles to Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, slated for motorboat connected Dec. 6, and reviewed borderline measures.

Deferments similar these bash not augur good for a planetary aviation and concern hub, which banks connected planetary commercialized and an unfastened economy, observers said.

Singapore has inked 21 VTL’s with trading partners specified arsenic Australia, Germany, and countries that fertile among its apical investors and concern partners.

Lee, however, has remained hopeful.

“We are tracking this [Omicron variant] precise closely. We are not definite yet, but we whitethorn good beryllium forced to instrumentality a fewer steps backmost earlier we tin instrumentality much steps forward,” Lee said successful his speech.

George Fu