Singapore PM Lee to hand over power to successor Wong on May 15

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Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, 72, announced on Monday he will hand over power to his successor, Lawrence Wong, on May 15.

Wong, 51, is currently the deputy prime minister and finance minister of Singapore and has been prime minister-in-waiting since 2022.

In a statement posted on the website of the Prime Minister’s Office, Lee called the leadership transition a “significant moment.”

Wong did not immediately comment.

An election is expected to follow in the months after the handover of power.

The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) in a statement today said Lee will formally advise President Tharman Shanmugaratnam to appoint Wong, the current deputy prime minister and finance minister, as his successor.

“The new prime minister will be sworn in at 8pm on May 15 at the Istana,” said PMO.

PMO said Wong has the unanimous support of the People’s Action Party’s (PAP) MPs.

Lee has served as Singapore’s third prime minister since 2004. The PAP secretary-general has led the party to four consecutive Singapore general election victories in 2006, 2011, 2015 and 2020.

The eldest son of Singapore’s first prime minister Lee Kuan Yew was first elected MP in 1984 and has been re-elected eight times, most recently as an MP for the Ang Mo Kio Group Representation Constituency.

Lee had in November last year announced his intention to step down as prime minister.

In a Facebook post, he asked all Singaporeans to give Wong and his team their full support to create a brighter future for the country.

“Lawrence (Wong) and the 4G team have worked hard to gain the people’s trust, notably during the pandemic. Through the Forward Singapore exercise, they have worked with many Singaporeans to refresh our social compact and develop the national agenda for a new generation,” he said.

The 4G team refers to Singapore’s fourth-generation team of younger political leaders.

Lee also assured that the 4G team is committed to keeping Singapore working well and moving ahead.

“These will always be top priorities for the government,” he added.