Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat issued a New Year message to People’s Action Party (PAP) comrades this year, instead of party leader, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
Mr Heng, who is also Finance Minister, is seen as the leader of the PAP’s fourth-generation (4G) leaders and is widely expected to succeed Mr Lee and become Singapore’s fourth head of government sometime after the next General Election – especially after his appointments as DPM in 2019 and as the ruling PAP’s First Assistant Secretary-General in 2018.
In his New Year message to PAP members and activists, Mr Heng said that the ruling party aims to “build a fair and just society where the benefits of progress are spread widely to all”. Asserting that his cohort of leaders will build on the efforts of past generations of PAP leaders, he said:
“Generations of PAP leaders and comrades have served with conviction, compassion, integrity and distinction. We have always done what is right by Singaporeans, for Singaporeans. The 4G leadership will do the same. We will continue to win and honour the trust and support of Singaporeans, with all our heart and strength.”
He added: “Our values – honesty, multiracialism, meritocracy and self-reliance – will continue to guide our way into the future. They give us the strength of conviction to do what is right for Singaporeans and ensure that we progress as a nation.
“In the coming year, I count on you, our comrades, to translate our vision for Singapore into action, in this Singapore Together movement. Let us bring Singaporeans together to work as one, and build an even better Singapore for all.”
There was no dedicated New Year message for PAP comrades last year. The PAP website instead linked members to PM Lee’s annual New Year message, issued by the Prime Minister’s Office.