ESM Goh Chok Tong has revealed that he hopes that the next leader of Singapore will be chosen in “6-9 months’ time” and that Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong will formally name his successor before the year ends, in a New Year’s message to his followers on Facebook.
The former head of government called leadership succession an “urgent challenge” and wrote:
“One urgent challenge I would like to see settled is our fourth generation leadership. Every succession is different, but one thing remains the same: each cohort will have to pick one amongst themselves to lead, and support him. I hope the current cohort will do so in 6 – 9 months’ time. Then PM can formally designate their choice as his potential successor before 2018 ends.”
Got also opined that the new leader of the nation must work together with his cohort and form a “cohesive fourth generation Cabinet.” He added that the new leaders must be bold to make tough decisions, have integrity and inspire and earn the respect of the people:
“Whoever is chosen, the team will have to work together, bring in others, and gel to form a cohesive fourth generation Cabinet. They must write a new inspiring chapter for Singapore, be courageous to make difficult decisions, stand tall with integrity, and earn the respect and trust of Singaporeans and the world at large. This is my wish for the new year – a Singapore in good hands, a Singapore that all of us build together.”
As far as he himself is concerned, ESM Goh said that he will assist organizations serving vulnerable citizens – particularly those with special needs. He added that he is also focused on improving his constituency, Marine Parade GRC:
“As for me, I give a helping hand to some organisations serving vulnerable Singaporeans, especially people with special needs. I am also focused on a few projects to make Marine Parade a Complete Home for All Ages.”
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According to several political pundits, Singaporeans may find out who will succeed Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to become the nation’s fourth head of government early next year, with a major Cabinet reshuffle looming ahead.
Analysts have opined that the individual or one of the individuals appointed as Deputy Prime Minister during the next Cabinet reshuffle, that is expected to take place in February or March 2018, will rise to the hot seat especially since the reshuffle is expected to hand over more reins to the younger ruling party cohort.
Analysts have also narrowed the list of potential successors to three Ministers: Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office Chan Chun Sing, and Education Minister Ong Ye Kung.