Tue, 21 May 2024

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Singapore set to welcome new PM tomorrow
Published on: Tuesday, May 14, 2024
By: Bernama
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Singapore set to welcome new PM tomorrow
Deputy prime minister Lawrence Wong will succeed Lee Hsien Loong who has served as prime minister since 2004. (AFP pic)
SINGAPORE: After nearly two decades, Singapore will witness a momentous event on Wednesday evening as the republic inaugurates a new prime minister.

In a smooth transition of leadership, deputy prime minister and finance minister Lawrence Wong, 51, will succeed Lee Hsien Loong, 72, who has served as prime minister since 2004. The swearing-in ceremony will take place at 8pm at the Istana.

Wong, a civil servant before entering politics in 2011, was seen as the prime minister-designate after being named the leader of the ruling People’s Action Party’s (PAP) fourth-generation (4G) team in April 2022, following deputy prime minister Heng Swee Keat stepping aside from the role.

The handover was confirmed after an April 15 statement in which Lee announced that he would relinquish office on May 15.

Wong, who has the unanimous support of PAP Members of Parliament (MPs), will succeed him.

On Monday (May 13), Lee formally informed President Tharman Shanmugaratnam of his intention to resign, and advised Tharman to invite Wong, who commands the confidence of the majority of MPs, to form the next government.

Wong, who is also Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC MP, accepted Tharman’s invitation and subsequently informed the president of his new Cabinet line-up, which will also be sworn in on May 15. The list saw minimal changes, with trade and industry minister Gan Kim Yong appointed as deputy prime minister.

Lee will be appointed as senior minister and will remain as the chairman of the Research, Innovation, and Enterprise Council.

In a press conference on Monday, Wong stated he aimed to “balance the need for continuity and renewal” with the new line-up as the government approaches the end of its term, with the next general elections required to be called by November 2025.

Wong highlighted that his Cabinet would focus on issues of concern to Singaporeans such as the cost of living, jobs, Forward Singapore initiatives, and other medium-term plans.

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