Singapore— Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat’s shock announcement on April 8 that he is stepping aside as the leader of the People’s Action Party’s (PAP) fourth-generation (4G) team has thrown the race to be the next Prime Minister wide open.
Netizens are weighing the merits of not only the 4G leaders Chan Chun Sing, Ong Ye Koon, Lawrence Wong and Desmond Lee.
Some have even come out in favour of Workers’ Party leader Pritam Singh!
Wait a minute — isn’t he the leader of the Opposition?
And isn’t another PAP 4G leader expected to replace Mr Heng?
Yes, but whoever becomes the PAP 4G leader is also expected to become the next Prime Minister.
And that’s why Mr Pritam Singh’s name is being bandied about in the succession race, presumably by Workers’ Party supporters.
Of course, they are being premature. To become the PM, he has to face the voters first, and the country went to the polls only last year. But that’s not stopping his admirers from having their say.
One netizen, in particular, posted a photo of Mr Singh on Facebook on Monday (Apr 12), along with a curriculum vitae of sorts—with information on the WP leader’s educational background, military service and political career.
The netizen, who goes by the name Nick Ee, captioned the photo, “Why not when the best is right in front of us?”
It has since been shared over 400 times.
Many netizens seemed to agree with him, judging by the comments on his post, as well as on the Wake Up, Singapore Facebook page.
People are free to be wishing and hoping, to recall an old Dusty Springfield song, whatever they want, but here’s the reality.
“The leader of the political party that secures the majority of seats in Parliament will be asked by the President to become the Prime Minister (PM). The PM will then select his Ministers from elected MPs to form the Cabinet,” is how the PM is chosen.
Therefore, as for now, because the PAP won 83 out of 95 seats in last year’s General Election and has been the governing party since 1965, all the goodwill people have expressed towards Mr Singh does not change his status from leader of the Opposition to leader of the nation.
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