PM Lee to step down on 15 May, will hand over the reins to DPM Lawrence Wong before polls

DPM Lawrence Wong to take over leadership from PM Lee Hsien Loong in May

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has announced the exact date he’ll be handing over the reins to his deputy — marking a key moment in Singapore’s history.

In a statement released by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) today (15 April), it said that PM Lee will relinquish his office on 15 May.

“He will formally advise the President to appoint Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Mr Lawrence Wong to succeed him,” said PMO. “DPM Wong has the unanimous support of the PAP MPs.”

The swearing in ceremony will take place at 8pm on 15 May at the Istana.

The announcement comes ahead of the next General Elections, which is expected to be called by November 2025.

DPM Wong, 51, said on Facebook that he is honoured and will “accept this responsibility with humility and a deep sense of duty”.

Source: Lawrence Wong on Facebook

“I pledge to give you my all in this undertaking,” he said, adding that he will devote every ounce of his energy to the service of Singapore and its people.

“Your dreams will inspire my actions, your concerns will guide my decisions,” he said, as he asked Singaporeans to work with him and his team.

“Together, we can build a future that shines brightly for all Singaporeans.”

PM Lee steps down before polls

In a Facebook post today, PM Lee said he had announced his intention last year.

Pointing out that a leadership transition is “a significant moment” for any country, he said DPM Wong and the 4G team “have worked hard to gain the people’s trust, notably during the pandemic”.

He added that they have worked with many Singaporeans to refresh the country’s social compact and develop the national agenda for a new generation through the Forward Singapore exercise.

Source: PM Lee Hsien Loong on Facebook

“The 4G team are committed to keeping Singapore working well and moving ahead,” he said. “I ask all Singaporeans to give Lawrence and his team your full support, and work with them to create a brighter future for Singapore.”

PM Lee, who is the People’s Action Party’s (PAP) secretary-general, had told party members at a convention in November last year that the leadership transition will take place by the PAP’s 70th birthday, or on Nov 21 this year, “if all goes well”.

At the event, he said DPM Wong told PM Lee that he was ready. “I have full confidence in Lawrence and his team and there is no reason to delay the political transition.”

He also said he would “be at the new PM’s disposal” after that. “I will go wherever he thinks I can be useful.”

DPM Wong was endorsed as the leader of the party’s fourth-generation, or 4G, team in 2022 after Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat stepped aside, citing his age as a factor.

People’s Action Party on Facebook

PM Lee had previously expressed plans to pass on the baton before his 70th birthday, but was unable to do so due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

He has been the city state’s Prime Minister since 2004, succeeding then Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong.

DPM Wong will be the country’s fourth Prime Minister.

Also read: ‘Bring It To The Ballot Box’: PM Lee Issues Challenge To Other Political Parties Over Management Of Reserves

‘Bring It To The Ballot Box’: PM Lee Issues Challenge To Other Political Parties Over Management Of Reserves

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Featured image adapted from Lee Hsien Loong on Facebook and Lawrence Wong on Facebook.

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