Former Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong yesterday (Jan 6) denied that there has been any infighting between Minister of State Chan Chun Sing and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat of the appointment of a new Prime Minister. Goh Chok Tong claimed that there is no “elbowing” for the post and that the ministers are
“The fourth generation leaders are not fighting for the post of prime minister… But they should decide who to lead them.”
Emeritus Senior Minister (ESM) Goh Chok Tong said he was merely attention-seeking when he made the Facebook post calling for a successor:
“I posted on purpose to elicit the response from the fourth generation and they have given the response, so I have achieved my purpose.”
When queried by state media reporters what the ESM meant by “good time” in his Facebook post, Goh Chok Tong said he doesn’t know:
“Which means it can be earlier, it can be later, I don’t know, so I’m not going to question them what does ‘good time’ mean, but the point is that they have responded to the call that they have to decide very quickly.”
Minister of State and former army general Chan Chun Sing is currently leading the race as he is Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s favourite. According to inside sources, Chan Chun Sing is very loyal to the Lee family as he was brought to politics by Lee Kuan Yew. Lee Hsien Loong would prefer Chan Chun Sing to take over as interim Prime Minister so the latter could hand the premiership powers to his son Li Hongyi, who is currently a director with the propaganda ministry, Ministry of Communications and Information.
Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat is a favourite among the ministers due to his merits and capabilities over Minister Chan Chun Sing. However, the Minister suffered a stroke two years ago during a Cabinet meeting, putting his Prime Minister race in jeopardy.
Both Minister Chan Chun Sing and Heng Swee Keat refuse to give up their bid for the PM post.