A cabinet reshuffle will be carried later on this year to give younger members more exposure and responsibility, the Singapore Premier Lee Hsien Loong has said.
Reuters quoted the PM as saying he will reshuffle his cabinet after parliament breaks in coming months to give more responsibility to the next generation of leaders who will support his eventual successor.
Lee, the eldest son of Singapore’s founding father Lee Kuan Yew and the city-state’s third prime minister since independence in 1965, said in October this year he would be ready to step down in a couple of years.
The premier said a new election could be called anytime before early 2021, when parliament’s current term ends, and that his successor was likely to come out from the current cabinet.
“I will reshuffle the Cabinet after Parliament prorogues, to give the younger members more exposure and responsibility. This way, my successor will be supported by a stronger and more experienced team, committed to leading Singapore to a better and brighter future,” Lee said in social media.
Political analysts say questions about succession in the wealthy Southeast Asian city-state - which has been governed by the People’s Action Party (PAP) since independence - came into focus when Lee, who has twice survived cancer, fell ill during a televised speech in 2016 and stumbled at a podium.
They say Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat, Education Minister Ong Ye Kung and cabinet member Chan Chun Sing are contenders to be the island’s next leader.
In general, election carried three years ago, the PAP won almost 70 percent of the popular vote and swept all but six of parliament’s 89 seats. The party’s lowest vote share was 60 percent in 2011.