Lawrence Wong, the then National Development Minister of Singapore, speaks during a Jan 27th, 2020 photo of the coronaviruses situation in Singapore. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has named Wong as his new deputy next week. ROSLAN RAHMAN AFP SINGAPORE Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has been named Finance Minister and elected successor Lawrence Wong as his new deputy next week, paving the way for him to become the city's next leader.
Wong, 49, was chosen as the leader of the People's Action Party's PAP team in April, but the timeframe for a change in power in the ruling party remains unclear.
Lee, 70, previously said that Wong would succeed him either before or after the next general election, which is due in 2025.
Lee said in a Facebook post on Monday that everyone should give full support to this important transition, to steer Singapore out of the pandemic and to a brighter future.
Monday included the moving of several other political office holders to different ministries.
Wong, who headed Singapore's COVID task force, will continue his current role as finance minister while serving as deputy prime minister, according to an official statement. He would stand in for Lee in the event of his absence.
Singapore has been governed by the PAP since its 1965 independence and leadership succession is usually a carefully planned affair.
Felix Tan, a political analyst at Nanyang Technological University, said Wong's appointment would ensure a smoother transition to the top job, which is unlikely to be imminent.
He will have a chance to familiarize himself in the role, give him the chance to form a new cabinet, or at least be involved in the decision-making process of forming a new cabinet, he said.
ALSO READ: Singapore PM names new finance minister in cabinet reshuffle.
I don't think PM Lee is going to step down anytime soon. Perhaps we would see a timeframe of a year or two, which will bring us closer to the next general election.