Lawrence Wong has ability to forge new paths and the 'runway' to become Singapore’s next PM: DPM Heng
SINGAPORE: As the new leader of the People's Action Party's (PAP) fourth-generation (4G) team, Finance Minister Lawrence Wong has the qualities to forge new paths for Singapore and bring people together, said Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat on Thursday (Apr 14).
In a Facebook post following the announcement, Mr Heng expressed his "wholehearted" support for and confidence in Mr Wong.
“What we need is a next leader who has the well-being of Singaporeans and Singapore at heart, who has the integrity and commitment to serve, and the ability to forge new paths and bring people together. I believe that Lawrence has these qualities," said Mr Heng.
“As importantly, Lawrence has the runway to eventually succeed PM. We have had a challenging few years. In the coming years, we will need to navigate even more changes that will affect Singaporeans."
Mr Heng, 60, was the leader of the PAP's 4G team before he stepped aside in April 2021 for someone younger with a longer runway to become the next Prime Minister.
Mr Wong is 49 years old.
Cabinet ministers affirmed their choice of Mr Wong as the leader of the 4G team on Thursday, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. The decision was later endorsed by all government Members of Parliament in a party caucus.
“The 4G leaders have agreed that Lawrence Wong is the best person to lead us in these challenging and rapidly changing times. I am very glad that he has accepted this responsibility,” said Mr Heng.
He added that when the COVID-19 pandemic struck, he had spoken to Mr Wong about co-chairing the multi-ministry task force with Trade and Industry Minister Gan Kim Yong, who was the Health Minister at the time.
“Lawrence agreed readily. He was an indispensable pillar in MOF’s (Ministry of Finance) work throughout our pandemic Budgets, as well as a calm and thorough leader in our pandemic responses," said Mr Heng.
“I therefore had full confidence in Lawrence when he took my place as Minister for Finance last year. I was impressed when he delivered his maiden Budget this year - it was not an easy Budget to deliver, but he did so with verve, steadiness, and a sense of fairness."