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PM Lee Says He’ll Hand Over Leadership To Lawrence Wong Before Next GE In Emotional Speech

PM Lee Announces Handover Of Leadership To DPM Lawrence Wong Before Next GE

On Sunday (5 Nov), Prime Minister (PM) Lee Hsien Loong revealed he would hand over leadership to Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) Lawrence Wong before the next General Election (GE).

He shared that if “all goes well”, the transition of leadership would take place during the People’s Action Party’s (PAP) 70th anniversary next year.

Reiterating his confidence in DPM Wong and his 4G team, PM Lee said there was no reason to delay the political transition.

PM Lee to hand over leadership of PAP before next GE

PM Lee was speaking at the annual PAP awards and convention at the Singapore Expo on 5 Nov.

He said that the next GE will coincide with the party’s leadership transition to the 4G team.

Source: People’s Action Party on Facebook

PM Lee noted that as announced previously during the National Day Parade rally, the PAP’s succession plans were back on track. Both he and the PAP have endorsed DPM Wong as the leader of the 4G team.

As such, there was only one major decision to make — whether the handover should occur before or after the next GE.

“I can continue to lead the party in the next GE, which would be my fifth as PM, and then hand over soon afterwards to Lawrence,” PM Lee said.

“Or I can hand over to Lawrence before the GE, then he leads the party into the campaign, wins his own mandate, and takes the country forward with the full backing of the nation.”

He noted that the leadership transition for any country would be “tricky.” In addition, the situation could “go awry” with Singaporeans and those outside the country watching closely.

“Everything depends on the success of this third transition in our history,” he said.

PM Lee praises efforts of DPM Wong and 4G Team

PM Lee went on to acknowledge the efforts of DPM Wong and the 4G team in serving the nation thus far.

“Lawrence and the 4G team have been serving for many years now,” he said.

Source: People’s Action Party on Facebook

He noted:

“They earned their spurs during Covid-19 and increasingly they are setting the national agenda,” PM Lee added.

Mentioning the Forward SG exercise which DPM Wong and the other 4G team leaders led, he said that they had committed themselves to much hard work and many major initiatives.

“They are actively bringing in more people to further strengthen the team,” PM Lee stated.

Would continue to help DPM Wong fulfill responsibilities

He then shared his confidence in DPM Wong, stating, “Lawrence has told me that he is ready. This morning you have heard him telling you that he is ready for his next assignment.”

“I have full confidence in Lawrence and his team and there is no reason to delay the political transition.”

“Therefore, I intend to hand over to DPM Lawrence before the next General Election,” he concluded. “After that, I will be at the new PM’s disposal. I will go wherever he thinks I can be useful.”

In addition, he shared that he wanted to help DPM Wong fulfil his responsibilities in leading the country to ensure that Singapore would continue its success beyond him and his 3G colleagues.

Having turned 71 this year, PM Lee said he missed his previous target of handing over leadership and stepping down before he was 70 years old.

“Next year is the PAP’s 70th anniversary,” he said. “So if all goes well, I will hand over by the PAP’s 70th birthday next year.”

Growing emotional, PM Lee continued, “It has been my great fortune and honour to have served the country, first in the SAF and then in the party and government, for all of my adult life.”

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Featured image adapted from People’s Action Party on Facebook.

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