Asia St: Singapore Selects New Next Generation Leader

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Singapore Selects New Next Generation Leader

April 15, 2022

Finance Minister Lawrence Wong (Photo Credit: Lawrence Wong Facebook Account).

BowerGroupAsia’s Singapore team, led by Managing Director Nydia Ngiow, released an update on Singapore’s selection of Finance Minister Lawrence Wong as the new leader of its fourth-generation team. The update examined the background behind the decision, its relevance and the potential impacts for businesses to watch in the coming months. 

Context

  • Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced on April 14 that Finance Minister Lawrence Wong was selected in a party caucus as the new leader of the People’s Action Party (PAP) fourth-generation (4G) team.
  • The announcement cements Wong’s status as the heir apparent when Lee steps down as prime minister. Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat was initially set for this role but he had stepped aside last year. 

Significance

  • The news came earlier than some had been expecting. Analysts had previously expected that a decision would not be announced until the next internal party elections in November 2022.
  • The announcement demonstrates the government’s commitment to securing political continuity amid geopolitical turmoil to guide Singapore’s economic recovery.

Implications

  • The earlier-than-expected confirmation fans rumors that the general election could be called next year alongside presidential elections — two years ahead of the November 2025 deadline for general elections.
  • A Cabinet reshuffle — the third since the current government’s term began in July 2020 — will be announced soon. Given the previous, more extensive reshuffles in July 2020 and May 2021, it is unlikely that this reshuffle will lead to any major changes beyond anointing Wong as deputy prime minister.

BGA will continue to monitor and provide analysis on relevant political developments in Singapore, including the upcoming Cabinet reshuffle. If you have any questions or comments, please contact BGA Singapore’s Managing Director Nydia Ngiow at nngiow@bowergroupasia.com.