When Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong was asked if the number of new (PAP) candidates in the next general election (GE) would be like the last two GEs, where there were 24 New faces each, Mr Lee said that it could be so.
“I think it is around that figure, but it is not confirmed yet,” Mr Lee said.
“I think there will be several, you have seen some of them, so you can do your own estimates.
Mr Lee also said, “Every MP should be able to work independently, and in principle defend his SMC. Every MP must make this consideration because they cannot be sure that the Electoral Boundaries Review Committee will not carve out his ward and turn it into a SMC.”
When Mr Lee was asked if “Ministers of State or other officeholders may be leading GRCs in the next election (instead of Cabinet ministers),” Mr Lee said, “If the situation calls for it, we might make such movements.”
“We definitely should not rule it out. Everyone should also be prepared for this possibility.”
Mr Lee was also asked if the PAP has identified its prime minister candidate and if the person is currently in Cabinet.
“Because you have said you want to hand over before you are 70 years old, so is it also likely that you hand over to your successor mid-way in the next term, so you have to give him a little time to prepare?” Mr Lee was asked.
In response, Mr Lee said, “Yes, he may already be in the Cabinet, but it is not entirely certain, because I will bring in some MPs and some new people with leadership calibre in the next General Election.
“Therefore, we should be able to find a successor between this election, the previous election and the next election.
Mr Lee also said that even if the prime minister candidate from PAP gets to enter parliament after the next election, “It need not be a stranger.”
“But my successor will not have as long a time to prepare as I did,” Mr Lee said.
“I had 20 years to prepare. Twenty years later, I will be very old if I am still around, so he does not have such a long time. So this is a different situation, and we need to find an able leader.
“If you look at other countries, very few leaders had much experience,” Mr Lee also said.
“Perhaps the longest would be that of China because there is a system in place. But in other developed countries, like US, UK or Australia, leaders came in without any experience in leading the country – They became leaders overnight.”
However, there is no guarantee that the PAP’s candidate for prime minister will still become the prime minister.
It would still depend on who voters choose to form the government.
But by Mr Lee saying this, where politicians come in without any experience to lead the country and where he says the same could happen for the PAP’s prime mindset candidate, the same would then similarly apply for the alternative parties, where we could similarly see a prime minister candidate emerge from the alternative parties such as the Worker’s Party or the Singapore Democratic Party, to lead Singapore into the future.