Singapore PM Lee announces new leader Lawrence Wong

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Singapore PM Lee announces new leader Lawrence Wong

SINGAPORE: Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has announced that Finance Minister Lawrence Wong will be the nation's leader.

According to a statement on April 14, Wong, 49, was chosen as the leader of the ruling People's Action Party's PAP, paving the way for him to become the next prime minister.

In a post by Lee, 70, Lee said, "The plan is for Lawrence to succeed me as PM, either before or after, if the PAP wins the next general election." It is due in 2025 and will be a tough fight. Lee has been the prime minister since 2004, and is the son of Lee Kwan Yew, the island's independence leader.

Wong, who helped Singapore overcome the COVID 19 Pandemic as a co-chair of the government's task force, had been tipped by analysts as a potential successor to Lee.

The PAP has governed leadership succession in the country since its 1965 independence, but an unexpected decision last year by Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat to step aside as Lee's designated successor disrupted the process is something that is normally carefully planned.

Lee said at a news conference that he is already 70 and that he is looking forward to hand over to Lawrence when he is ready. Singapore aims to increase its status as an international commerce centre despite the strict regulations and travel restrictions that made it a success story during the Pandemic.

There are a lot of economic challenges to tackle as a result of the war in Ukraine, including the threat of higher and more persistent inflation and weaker growth, according to Wong.

He said that the country would need to look over the horizon to position itself in a more complex, volatile and unpredictable world.