Vital that 4G leaders work well together: PM Lee

The issue of who will be Singapore's next prime minister goes beyond finding the person most suited for the post. More important is having a capable team that can work well together, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said yesterday.

Many qualities are needed for national leadership, and to find a single candidate with the qualities and able to "do it all" would be unrealistic and impossible, he said.

"What is important is the team. If among the team's members, they have enough of these qualities, are able to cooperate and together, drive Singapore forward, lead the country - this is the most crucial," he added.

Mr Lee, 66, who has made clear that he intends to hand over to a successor by the time he turns 70 in 2022, added: "We have to find a competent team that can work closely together, win the confidence of the people, lead them, meet and solve challenges together, carve out a new path and make Singaporeans proud."

He was speaking in Mandarin at DBS Asian Insights Conference's Leadership Dialogue in Shanghai, moderated by Mr Robin Hu, head of Temasek's sustainability and stewardship group. Mr Hu had asked him what was the most important quality Singapore's future leader needed.

He also asked whether there was now a clear choice.

Mr Lee said there was progress, but it was not time to go public on who he was.

His comments come just as a Cabinet reshuffle is expected to be announced in the coming weeks, to give younger ministers more exposure.

Mr Lee was in China for a five-day working visit, where he met President Xi Jinping, Premier Li Keqiang, Vice-President Wang Qishan and Shanghai party secretary Li Qiang, among other leaders.

At an interview with Singapore reporters yesterday, Mr Lee said Singapore's younger ministers were already leading the country's engagement with China in many Chinese provinces and will do more at the national level.

"When we have the opportunity like on this trip, I bring the younger ministers along, and they meet their counterparts and they get to know one another and progressively get a feel for the relationship."


Singapore Politics