This after there was talk all over the country that he can easily step up and take over as and when he can.
In the following Straits Times video that features the Channel News Asia microphone, Tharman told reporters on the sidelines of the launch of the Wong Fong Industries Building on Sept. 28 he knows what he is "capable of doing" in his prime ministerial-sounding voice, and it was not being the next PM:
Here's a transcript of what he said:
Reporter: Is your age a concern, I mean, if it was 10 years ago?
"I'm quite clear about it, I've given this... It's not just a fact about age, but also the fact that I know who I am. I know who I am, I know what I am capable of doing and I know how I'm best able to serve Singapore."
Reporter: What's your take on the idea of Transition PM which...
"I've, I've... there are many twirls in this talk that goes around. I've expressed myself quite clearly and categorically, I know who I am and how I want to serve and I am confident of the fourth generation leaders. I'm confident of them, one of them is going to emerge as a leader to take us forward and he or she will be a first among equals."
Reporter: Has the list of potential PMs narrowed down the last couple of years?
"Well, we all have a sense as to who has the potential to be first among equals and it doesn't lessen the contributions of the others, by the way. Who thinks lowly of Raja and Dr Goh Keng Swee? They were towering figures but not everyone is suited to be the prime minister. And the whole idea is build a team, build a strong team to take Singapore forward. And I'm confident of the fourth generation. I've watched them, I know them well, some of them I've known for a long time, like Swee Keat, some others over the last six years. I've confidence in them. And some of us in the third generation would be around to support them. Thank you."