Lee Hsien Loong: I am not ready to give up power yet
Speaking in Parliament on Wednesday (May 16), dictator Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong is still hesitant to hand over power and said that he is not ready to choose the next Prime Minister yet:
"I know Singaporeans are anxious to know who the next PM will be but these things take time, and cannot be forced. I do not believe we are ready to settle on a choice yet."
The PAP dictator added that he sees "more than one qualified candidate", and that he will announce the decision only by the next General Election which is due in 2021.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong then praised himself saying Singapore's 3 prime ministers, his father Lee Kuan Yew, predecessor Goh Chok Tong and himself are the best of the best:
"My government and that of Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong and the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew, were supported by talented core teams of ministers. All three PMs were not sole leaders, but are "primus inter pares" - first among equals in Latin - with the other leaders."
Also in his speech, the dictator sang a different tune after years of "fixing" the Opposition. Probably threatened by the Malaysia's watershed election that saw the arrest of his friend former PM of Malaysia Najib Razak, Lee Hsien Loong poured praises for the only elected Opposition, the Workers' Party, saying that they help the PAP become "contestable":
"The WP plays a role in Singapore's political system. Opposition parties keep the ruling People's Action Party (PAP) on its toes. These parties keep Singapore politics contestable. If the Government becomes incompetent or corrupt, the opposition will grow. So our system gives the PAP government... every incentive to perform, and to keep the opposition performing its role where it is, namely in the opposition."
Lee Hsien Loong also toned down his "one-party rule" principle, and for the first time admitted that his party may lose power one day:
"However, political parties do not have a fixed lifespan. The PAP does not have a monopoly of power, (and) does not have a right to rule Singapore indefinitely. How long a political party continues in government or in opposition depends on whether it can renew itself, continue to serve the people, and continue to bring progress to the nation. If the PAP can keep on successfully doing that, we can stay in government. But if we ever fail, then we deserve to lose."
The Singapore dictator who is hugely unpopular defended his new tax increases, calling it "leadership":
"This does not mean that the Government will shy away from difficult problems. Governing means having to make tough choices when needed. Leadership means you have to explain, persuade, and convince people that you know what you are doing, and you are doing it for good reason. That is the way to maintain people's trust, and trust is crucial."