SINGAPORE, Oct 31 2017 : One of the contenders to be Singapore’s next leader, cabinet member Chan Chun Sing said he and his colleagues had an obligation to be ready to take on the job.
In rare comments about succession by a public official, Chan said whoever took over was unlikely to drastically change the government’s policy direction.
“In Singapore, leadership is a responsibility to be borne, not a position to be sought,” he said, citing a comment previously made by Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan.
Singapore news media have cited Chan as one of a number of contenders to succeed Lee.
Lee, who is the eldest son of Singapore’s founding father Lee Kuan Yew, has said the new leader is probably already in the cabinet, but a clear choice has yet to emerge.
Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, also mentioned as a potential successor, has repeatedly said he does not want the job. The Singapore media and political analysts say Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat and Education Minister Ong Ye Kung are also in contention.
Questions about succession in the wealthy Southeast Asian city state – which has been governed by the People’s Action Party since independence in 1965 – came into focus when Lee, who has twice survived cancer, took ill during a televised speech last year and stumbled at a podium.
Doctors subsequently said there were no serious concerns.
Chan entered politics in 2011 after serving more than two decades in the Singapore Army, retiring as a major-general. – Reuters