SINGAPORE – Singapore’s carefully planned leadership successor has been set in turmoil.
Political observers say it is not immediately clear who will be the next prime minister of Asia’s financial hub.
Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat shocked the country late on Thursday when he announced he would step down as Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s successor.
He said he was 60 this year and cited his age as a barrier to propel the country in the world after the outbreak.
Heng will relinquish his role as finance minister in the next cabinet switch, local media said in two weeks̵7; time. Continue to serve as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Economic Policy Coordination.
“It makes a contribution in terms of Singapore’s carefully laid out succession plan. But I don’t see it as an explosion of Singapore’s political renewal, ”said Eugene Tan, a law professor at Singapore Management University and Politics. An observer spoke to CNBC’s “Street Signs Asia” on Friday.
Financial markets stabilized Friday after Heng’s announcement, with the Straits Times Index falling 0.1% and the Singapore dollar flat against the US dollar.
Who will be the next prime minister of Singapore?
Analysts identified four potential leaders that could be elected as Singapore’s next prime minister:
- Chan Chun Sing, 51 years old, Minister of Trade and Industry.
- Ong Ye Kung, 51, the Minister of Transport.
- Lawrence Wong, 48, is the Minister of Education and co-chair of the country’s COVID-19 Working Group.
- Desmond Lee, 44, Minister of National Development.
Gillian Koh, deputy research director at the National University of Singapore Institute for Policy Studies, said the men were exposed on the international stage. This will make it easier for them to become the top performers, she said Friday on CNBC’s “Squawk Box Asia”.
However, she pointed out that Wong and Lee, both in their 40s, will have a “much longer runway” even though they will be more than five years from now.
The People’s Affairs Party has ruled Singapore since the country gained independence in 1965. Singapore has only two. – Often it is a matter that did not happen to Specify the successor Several years before the Prime Minister Sit down from position
But before Heng decided to avoid the succession plan, the country’s leadership was tackled by the coronavirus outbreak, said law professor.
The current Prime Minister Lee had previously said he was ready to retire. By the time he was 70 but later said he would delay a delivery to see Singapore through the COVID-19 crisis.
Lee is 69 this year and said on Thursday he would Continue to hold the position of Prime Minister until a new successor is obtained and ready to take over
“The epidemic has really elevated the leadership succession plan, so … I see DPM (Deputy Prime Minister) Heng is an unfortunate death,” said Tan, adding that Heng looked “very peaceful” with his decision. Will step aside.