Photo of K Shanmugam from Justin Ong CNA

When interviewed by the media yesterday (Jan 21) what are the qualities the new Prime Minister should have, Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam recycled a quote from the late former prime minister Lee Kuan Yew and said he must have “iron in him”:

“Whoever leads Singapore will have to have the iron in him. He has got to be able to lead the people. This is not a game of cards, it’s everybody’s lives.”

This is the second time the same quote has been used by the ruling party which is capitalising on the dead statesman’s influential reputation. During the 2015 General Election, Lee Hsien Loong used the exact same qyote during his election campaign speech.

Read: Lee Hsien Loong use his father to ask for support

The Law Minister was however tight-lipped on who the likely candidate would be and instead gave some general descriptions without giving any name:

“Singapore’s future prime minister needs to have courage, steel, be able to lead and connect with the people, and get the buy-in from Singaporeans to set out the nation’s path. The new Prime Minister must be able to look at what is happening and take pre-emptive action so that we always land on our feet, and we succeed.”

Minister K Shanmugam also said that the ruling party leader Prime Minister gets to decide when to announce the choice of his successor:

“The Prime Minister has set out his timetable. We look for the next generation of leaders early so that they can come in with a number of years to go still.”