Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Lawrence Wong addressed questions on when he will take over as Singapore's next prime minister (PM), explaining the two possible scenarios, and why the decision on the actual timing has yet to be made.
Have yet to make decision on actual timing
In an interview with Bloomberg News' Editor-in-Chief John Micklethwait on Monday (Aug. 15), Wong said that his transition to become PM could take place before the next General Elections (GE), in which case he would "clearly lead" the People's Action Party (PAP) and the 4G team in the GE.
However, Wong also said that the transition could take place after the GE, in which PM Lee Hsien Loong will continue to lead the PAP in the GE and if the PAP wins, Wong would take over as the new PM.
"These are the options, but we have still yet to make a decision on the actual timing," said Wong.
Wong stated that his current priority is to start thinking about organising the 4G team and how they will deal with their immediate priorities.
Wong also said that he wants to take this time to settle in to his "new expanded responsibilities and portfolios".
"In due course we will make a decision on this important matter," he added.
"I am honoured by their choice"
In the interview, Micklethwait commented that the succession process was "a sort of Squid Game competition" in which Wong eventually won.
Wong refuted the comparison, and said that the succession process was "never a matter of competition, certainly not the Squid Game".
He added that the leaders had a "very thorough and deliberate process" to think about the succession plan.
The plans, however, were disrupted because of Covid-19, Wong said.
"Then we had to come back together, and we wanted a process that would allow us to choose a leader while strengthening the sense of team within the Cabinet, and we have done that.
I have emerged as the candidate my colleagues have chosen to lead the team, I am honoured by their choice, and we are now in the process of deliberating exactly when would that transition be for me to take over from Prime Minister Lee."
Top images courtesy of Ministry of Finance.