Teo Chee Hean will be Acting Prime Minister in PM Lee's absence until 4G team picks a new leader
SINGAPORE: If Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong is on leave, Senior Minister Teo Chee Hean will be appointed Acting Prime Minister.
This will be the interim arrangement until the People's Action Party's (PAP) fourth-generation team chooses its new leader, said Mr Lee on Thursday (Apr 8) following Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat's decision to step aside.
Mr Teo, who is also Coordinating Minister for National Security, was Acting Prime Minister in Mr Lee's absence - until Mr Heng was chosen as leader of the 4G and became Deputy Prime Minister in 2019.
"Now that DPM Heng has stood aside as leader of the 4G, I am reverting to the previous arrangement, and will in future appoint SM Teo Chee Hean as Acting PM in my absence," said Mr Lee in response to media queries.
"This is the interim arrangement until such time as the 4G chooses a new leader from among themselves."
Mr Heng announced on Thursday that he is stepping aside as the leader of the 4G team, paving the way for a younger person to lead the country and succeed Mr Lee as Prime Minister.
“I have decided to step aside as leader of the 4G team, so that a younger leader who will have a longer runway can take over,” he wrote in a letter to Mr Lee.
“While I am in good health today, it is in the best interests of the nation, for someone who is younger to tackle the huge challenges ahead.”
Mr Heng will remain as Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for Economic Policies, but will step down as Minister of Finance at the next Cabinet reshuffle, which will take place in about two weeks.