In the announcement of his Ang Mo Kio GRC electoral team today (August 15) at the Punggol South PAP Branch, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong responded to media enquiries that the new candidates he brought in are all potential Ministers calibre:
“We have evaluated all candidates for their record, what they have done, their potential, what they can do. Then we will watch their performance in their elections, campaigns, in office, and then we will make a judgment on whether they are suitable to be ministers.”
The 63 year old two-term Prime Minister will be going into his third Prime Minister term and have two new candidates, Koh Poh Koon and Darryl David, joining his team. The Opposition team they are facing is the Reform Party again, which has won only 30.67% in the previous election.
Prime Minister Lee also emphasized the importance of having a leadership renewal and suggested that his ruling party PAP have been making succession plans.
“The responsibility of the current leadership is not only to run the country but to make sure there is succession prepared, so a good team can take over and take Singapore forward, rather than a Government that gets older every year.
In the PAP team we are renewing our slate and presenting new candidates, and reinforcing our team with potential office holders to strengthen the leadership, to form the next generation of leaders that will take over me and my team.
Today we remind ourselves what this next election is about and what’s at stake: It’s about our future. Every constituency will be contested. You’re voting to choose the party and team you can trust to safeguard your future, and a team of MPs to take care of town council and look after your town.
Your vote decides the ministers who will look after Singapore.”
Succession planning is however apparently not the case especially when 11 of its current PAP MPs only made their announcement to resign as recent as within the last two months. The Prime Minister appears to have assembled his new candidates only last week as he is still not ready to announce the final line up of candidates in every constituencies. In fact, all new candidates are only announced within the past two months. Unlike what PM Lee claimed, there is no succession planning and everything is done impromptu at the eleventh hour. Ang Mo Kio GRC is the only constituency he has confirmed the candidates for.
Prime Minister Lee also admitted that the resignation of Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew is a great loss, as no current PAP MPs are willing to take up the Transport Minister profile.