SINGAPORE: Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong said his Facebook post last week on the urgent need to identify Singapore’s next prime minister was done deliberately, to elicit a response from the fourth generation leaders.
"I posted on purpose to elicit the response from the fourth generation and they have given the response, so I have achieved my purpose," Mr Goh said on Saturday (Jan 6) at the sidelines of a youth community event.
"In other words get on with the task," he added.
Mr Goh told reporters that he would not go on further about the issue.
This is after 16 younger political officeholders released a statement on Thursday, in which they said they were keenly aware that leadership succession is a pressing issue and "will settle on a leader from amongst us in good time".
Mt Goh noted: “Which means it can be earlier, it can be later, I don’t know, so I’m not going to question them what does ‘good time’ mean, but the point is that they have responded to the call that they have to decide very quickly."
He added that the fourth generation leaders are not "fighting for the post" of prime minister.
“That's the difference between politics for us and other countries … (There is) a job to be done, they will do it. But we all do not have sharp elbows to get into that senior position.
“So I thought, so just signal to them, better decide,” he said.
Mr Goh had posted on Facebook on Dec 31, 2017: "One urgent challenge I would like to see settled is our fourth generation leadership.
"Every succession is different, but one thing remains the same: each cohort will have to pick one amongst themselves to lead, and support him. I hope the current cohort will do so in six to nine months' time.
"Then PM can formally designate their choice as his potential successor before 2018 ends."