PM: GE will be 'soon as we're ready'

The next general election may not take place when everybody is expecting it, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said yesterday.

In an interview with Singapore media in South Korea, Mr Lee said the timing of the election, which must be held by January 2017, will depend on a variety of factors, including global and local events.

"It depends on what the issues are, what the state of our preparations are," he told reporters on the sidelines of an Asean-Korea summit in Busan. "It depends on what's happening in the world, if a major crisis is coming up... on (what) other agenda we are busy with."

Noting that Singapore will mark its 50th anniversary of nationhood next year, Mr Lee added that the year-long calendar of celebrations will also have to be considered. "We will have to take all this into account... and choose the right moment," he said. "Not necessarily when everybody is expecting it.

The ruling People's Action Party is "working hard", he said, and the election will be called "as soon as we're ready".

Mr Lee said at the summit that a concerted global response was needed to tackle "non-traditional security issues" such as climate change.

The Changi airport expansion and other projects involving land reclamation will be built on higher ground to protect against rising sea levels, The Straits Times quoted him as saying.

Singapore ElectionsLee Hsien Loong