NUSA DUA, Bali: The younger ministers in Singapore's Cabinet should not only focus on political succession but also the nation's agenda going forward, Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat said on Friday (Oct 12).
He was speaking in an interview with reporters on the sidelines of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank Group Annual Meetings in Nusa Dua, Bali.
Responding to a question on the pace of political succession and who the frontrunners for Singapore's next prime minister are, Mr Heng said that the younger ministers in the Cabinet are all working closely together and have a "very good understanding with one another".
"We are looking at a number of things that we need to do for Singapore. So I think that our focus should not just be on the (political) succession," said Mr Heng.
"Our focus should be on the agenda going forward, what is it that we need to do in Singapore to ensure that Singapore continues to remain stable, prosperous and that we provide good opportunities for our people in various realms, whether it's education, healthcare or public housing," he added.
Mr Heng pointed out that the leaders "must continue to make progress" and will be discussing these topics in greater detail in the coming months.
"And I'd like to assure Singaporeans that, in fact, we’re working very well together as a team," he reiterated.
Last month, Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam said Singaporeans will have a clearer idea of who will become the country's next prime minister in 2019, adding that an indication could come from the People's Action Party's Central Executive Committee election, which is slated for later this year.
He added that the next generation of leaders have been given different portfolios, and needed "a little bit more time with Singaporeans so that Singaporeans can see them and assess them for themselves".
Mr Shanmugam also said that there is a "small group" of young ministers who meet regularly every week, without the Prime Minister or senior ministers present, to discuss policies.