Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew and Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong announced in a statement yesterday that they would be retiring from the Cabinet to make way for the younger generation.
In their statement, they said: "We have studied the new political situation and thought how it can affect the future. We have made our contributions to the development of Singapore. The time has come for a younger generation to carry Singapore forward in a more difficult and complex situation. The Prime Minister and his team of younger leaders should have a fresh clean slate. A younger generation, besides having a non-corrupt and meritocratic government and a high standard of living, wants to be more engaged in the decisions which affect them. After a watershed general election, we have decided to leave the cabinet and have a completely younger team of ministers to connect to and engage with this young generation in shaping the future of our Singapore.
"But the younger team must always have in mind the interests of the older generation. This generation who has contributed to Singapore must be well-looked after."
How do young politicians here feel about the announcement?
Mr Jarrod Luo (SDP): "I am both relieved and happy for the elder ministers. It is good that they have decided to take up their rightful rest after so many years of contributions, and leave the younger generation of leaders to forge out their niche in this increasingly complex world with their blessings and legacy."
Brigadier-General Tan Chuan Jin (PAP) posted on his Facebook page: "MM Lee Kuan Yew has always been at the forefront in playing a key role for Singapore. SM Goh Chok Tong was the PM who ushered in a more open and consultative style of governance. They have both continued to provide guidance and have brought their weight and influence to bear in helping us maintain our presence on the world stage."
Ms Glenda Han (WP): "I feel perhaps they have realised that there is a need for a difference, to allow younger ministers to take better charge of us."