Photo of Lee Hsien Loong and son Li Hongyi from Straits Times

Former PAP MP for Ang Mo Kio GRC Inderjit Singh yesterday (Dec 26) criticised Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong for dilly dallying on his decision for a successor, saying that it is already too late to choose one now. The ex-PAP member said the successor should have at least 10 years of experience as a Deputy Prime Minister as preparation before taking up the PM role, like as was the case for Goh Chok Tong and Lee Hsien Loong:

“The next PM should ideally have served for two terms as a deputy and be given the exposure and responsibility on major policies before he or she can confidently take on the job. The future Prime Minister should have started taking key duties by now… It is already too late.”

Other ruling party elites also expressed similar concerns for PM Lee’s indecisiveness, urging the dictator PM to select a new leader and step down. At 65, Lee Hsien Loong is currently on track to be the oldest Prime Minister in Singapore, exceeding his predecessor Goh Chok Tong’s 63 and and Lee Kuan Yew’s 67. The son of Lee Kuan Yew once said that he will likely retire in less than five years time at no later than 70 years old. Ruling party elites and cronies are exceptionally anxious as they do not know which “boat to board” to further their political and business interests.

Former PAP NMP Eugene Tan told state media Today that he is worried that the new PAP administration have no time to be ready for governance:

“For a government that has always emphasised renewal and succession, this raises legitimate questions about the readiness of the fourth generation leadership, if not about the much vaunted process. By the time PM Lee steps down, he (could) be the oldest of our Prime Ministers.”

There are currently two front runners for the PM race – former army general Minister Chan Chun Sing and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat. The army general however lack etiquette and depth to lead due to his numerous gaffes. Minister Heng Swee Keat may be more thoughtful and measured his words and actions, but his health was a major concern after he suffered a stroke during a Cabinet meeting in 2016. At 56, Finance Minister is also too old to be PM, while Chan Chun Sing’s 48 age is just right.

Unofficially, the next PM is also a seat warmer for the next 15 year to prepare for the premiership handover to the son of Lee Hsien Loong, Li Hongyi. The 30-year-old son of Lee Hsien Loong is currently a director of the propaganda ministry, Ministry of Communications and Information. Lee Hsien Loong’s siblings, Lee Wei Ling and Lee Hsien Yang, revealed their PM brother’s plot to pass the premiership to his son. The Prime Minister also sent his nephew Li Shengwu into self-exile in US, worried that the Harvard University professor would compete with his son Li Hongyi for the PM post.