Politics

PAP 4G Leaders Urged To ‘Swiftly Choose’ Next PM & DPM So They Have A Longer Runway

MP Christopher De Souza Urges 4G Leaders To Choose Next PM & DPM Swiftly

In April last year, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat stepped down as 4G leader and said he would not be our next Prime Minister.

Singaporeans have since been curious about who would eventually become Prime Minister of Singapore after PM Lee Hsien Loong steps down.

Speaking in Parliament on Monday (28 Feb), PAP MP Christopher de Souza urged leaders to “swiftly choose” the next PM and DPM.

Source

This is so we can give them as long a runway as possible before taking over the Singapore leadership.

Leaders need to choose next PM to make long-term plans work

During a debate on Budget 2022, Holland-Bukit Timah MP Christopher de Souza spoke about choosing Singapore’s next PM and DPM.

He started his speech by noting that Singapore can have all the right fiscal policies in place, but we have yet to sort out our political succession.

He said Singapore is unique in that we can plan many policies decades in advance. But with this, it is crucial we have successive generations of leaders to see the policies through.

Citing DPM Heng’s words when he stepped down, Mr de Souza said the next PM should have a “longer runway” to the premiership and an equally long run in the premiership.

 

He stressed,

To make Singapore’s long-term plans work, such as those contained in this year’s Budget, Singapore must have a long-term leadership succession plan.

Next PM needs to be the best fit to bring the team together

Mr de Souza acknowledged that choosing the next PM was a tough decision.

It wasn’t due to a lack of ideal candidates. Instead, other constraints are considered, such as age, political experience, and circumstances.

Sharing an anecdote about being the captain of his hockey team in his younger days, Mr de Souza said he was never the best player.

He was picked for other reasons, including deciphering the team’s potential and materialising it.

In the same vein, the 4G leaders need not pick the smartest candidate. Instead, they need to choose the best person to bring the team together.

Mr de Souza then gave the caveat that he had no ambition to become the next PM.

Political predictability key to Singapore’s success

While Singapore has a solid leadership now, Mr de Souza emphasised that the 4G leaders must line up the future PM and their deputies.

He said the country’s political succession planning is crucial to Singapore’s political predictability. This would give many multinational companies the confidence to invest their business, human capital, and infrastructure long-term here.

He urged that the PAP must “swiftly choose” the next PM and DPM and give them “as long a runway” as possible.

Concluding his speech, Mr de Souza said it was important to show the world that Singapore can pick a future leader in the throes of the Covid-19 crisis.

A difficult but necessary task

Choosing a leader to lead Singapore is certainly no easy task.

After all, apart from galvanising a cabinet of younger ministers, the person would have to manage a country moving on from the pandemic’s challenges.

But as Mr de Souza said, this carefully deliberated decision must be made soon while the old guard can still shepherd them along.

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Featured image adapted from MCI Singapore on YouTube.

Sabrina Seng

Sabrina is always facing some form of existential crisis but other than that, she's pretty chill.

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