Photo of Lee Hsien Loong from Reuters

In an interview with Nikkei Asian Review, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said that the next Prime Minister will be chosen from among the new Ministers and decided upon by themselves.

“I think amongst my ministers, the young ones, they will work together, they will get to know one another, they will assess one another and I think in good time, they will work out among themselves who fits into which role best and who can be the next leader.”

Earlier in September, the country’s propaganda state media shortlisted 6 candidates for the new Prime Minister role – Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat, Minister of State Chan Chun Sing, Education Minister Ong Ye Kung, Education Minister Ng Chee Meng, Minister of National Development Lawrence Wong and Minister of Social and Family Affairs Tan Chuan Jin. Three of them – Tan Chuan Jin, Chan Chun Sing and Ng Chee Meng – are former army generals, while two of them are inexperienced first-time Minister – Ng Chee Meng and Ong Ye Kung – sharing the education ministry profile.

However, the six choices are not preferred choices according to a poll conducted by Yahoo Singapore. Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) Tharman Shamugaratnam was ranked the first preferred candidate for the PM role, followed by DPM Teo Chee Hean. The third choice was Minister Heng Swee Keat, while the fourth was Minister of State Chan Chun Sing.

With the PM’s indication of a “young leadership”, the “older” ministers like Tharman and Teo Chee Hean are ruled out for the job. In a media interview in response to the Yahoo survey yesterday (Sep 29), DPM Tharman specifically said that he does not want to be the PM – a move that aligns the interests of dictator Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

PM Lee said that the announcement of the new candidate will be made in “good time”. There is no transparency in the selection of the Prime Minister, nor there is any racist argument similar that for the Presidential Election. In the past 51 years, Singapore has seen only 3 Chinese Prime Ministers while the Presidential position has seen contributions from all three majority races in Singapore. Henceforth, with comparison to the Prime Minister selection, it has become obvious that the re-writing of Constitution for the Presidential Election is to draw stringent conditions for a puppet President who is endorsed by the ruling party.