SINGAPORE: Finance Minister Lawrence Wong on Thursday (Apr 14) said he will "continue to serve Singaporeans wholeheartedly" with the rest of the fourth-generation (4G) team.
The selection of Mr Wong as leader of the 4G political leadership, which paves his way to become Singapore's next Prime Minister, was announced earlier in the evening by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
In a Facebook post, Mr Wong said he was "humbled and grateful" for the trust and confidence of his colleagues who have chosen him to lead them. "I am also deeply grateful for the support of my fellow Members of Parliament."
He added: "Together with the rest of the 4G team, I will continue to serve Singaporeans wholeheartedly, and strive to earn the trust and support of each and every one of our fellow citizens."
In his post, Mr Wong said Singapore's model of political leadership had never been about one person, but the team.
"Each of us contributes, complements each other, and gives of our best to Singapore," he said.
He said that his colleagues in the 4G leadership have stood "shoulder to shoulder" with each other in the fight against the COVID-19, and the experience in the past two years has cemented their cohesiveness and strengthened their resolve to "steward Singapore safely through this crisis and beyond".
"It is my privilege to be called upon to lead this team. I will do my utmost to uphold this responsibility. But as we have been reminded many times, the right to lead cannot be inherited," Mr Wong added.
Mr Wong, 49, was first elected as a Member of Parliament in May 2011. He was re-elected in September 2015 and July 2020.
The candidate to succeed Mr Lee, 70, had been up in the air since Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat stepped aside as the leader of the PAP 4G team last April.
Mr Heng, 60, cited his age as the reason and said he would have "too short a runway" should he become Prime Minister after the pandemic.
With the COVID-19 pandemic situation "stabilised", Mr Lee said they are now able to relook the issue of succession.