Although mainstream news publications reported that Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong is expected to unveil the ruling party’s Central Executive Committee (CEC) leadership line-up tomorrow, Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing completely sidestepped a question today asking him to confirm that an announcement will be made tomorrow.
Chan was considered to be one of the strongest contenders to become Singapore’s fourth head of government, alongside the two others tipped to clinch the role: Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat and Education Minister Ong Ye Kung.
Although many speculated that Chan appeared poised to succeed PM Lee, ruling party cadres reportedly told TODAY Online that Heng is the chosen one.
A senior party leader reportedly confirmed to the publication that Heng will be appointed first assistant secretary-general and is expected to become 4G PM, while Chan will be appointed second assistant secretary-general and may possibly become a deputy PM in the future.
The national broadsheet reported that the CEC – the ruling party’s top decision-making body – met yesterday to decide on the leadership line-up and finalised its new slate of office-holders, including the first and second assistant secretary-generals.
In spite of media reports that PM Lee is expected to make an announcement on the leadership line-up at a press conference tomorrow, Chan deflected an explicit question on the timing of the announcement today.
At a regional conference organised by Asia House today, the group’s chief executive Michael Lawrence asked Chan if the PAP will reveal its slate of top 4G leaders tomorrow. Sidestepping the question, Chan replied:
“Our leadership model is one of continuity, and I think we can all expect that. The way we do business, and the way we relate to the world, is that we provide a certain predictability, a certain continuity, to how we do things.”
He reportedly added: “There are artificialities when people divide the leadership into different generations, but there are also similarities across each and every generation.
“We have been fortunate in Singapore, not because we think that we have leaders who are more clever than others. But we’d like to pride ourselves on having a leadership model that is stronger than the sum of the individual parts.”
Asserting that a key factor of Singapore’s success are leadership teams that are able to set aside individual differences and that Singapore has been able to convene such leadership that abide by this, Chan said:
“The younger generation of leaders are similarly focused on this, building the strongest team for Singapore to ensure that every generation of Singaporeans can continue this dream of ours, to stay sovereign, independent, successful.
“For each generation of Singaporeans, our definition of success is not how well we do for ourselves, but how well we enable the next generation to do even better for themselves.
“And that is how we will continue to take this country forward.”