Singapore changes leader for the first time in 20 years… Who will be the first common people’s prime minister at the age of 51 – ZUM News VRESP TODAY


Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong was officially inaugurated as the 4th Prime Minister at 8pm on the 15th.

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Singapore welcomes a new administrative head for the first time in 20 years. Long-term Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong (72) will step down, and Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong (51) will become the new Prime Minister and lead the cabinet. /AFPBBNews=News1

Singapore welcomes a new administrative head for the first time in 20 years. Long-term Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong (72) will step down, and Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong (51) will become the new Prime Minister and lead the cabinet.

According to the Associated Press, Reuters, Nikkei Asia, and The Straits Times, Singapore’s new Prime Minister Wong will be officially inaugurated as the fourth Prime Minister through an inauguration ceremony held at the Presidential Palace at 8 pm (local time) on the 15th.

The inauguration of new Prime Minister Wong marks a shift in Singapore’s political power paradigm. He is the first leader born after Singapore gained independence from the Malay federation in 1965, and is significant as a prime minister from the middle class. Previous prime ministers include the first Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, known as the ‘Father of Singapore’, Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong, and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, all of whom come from political families and received elite education from childhood. In comparison, Prime Minister Wong differs from the first to third prime ministers in that he was born to a father who was a salesman and a mother who was a teacher, and he attended public school.

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Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who has led Singapore for the past 20 years, and new Prime Minister Lawrence Wong. /AFPBBNews=News1

After receiving formal education in Singapore, the new Prime Minister Wong went on to study in the United States and received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin, a master’s degree from the University of Michigan, and a doctoral degree from Harvard University. After growing up as an economics expert, he returned to Singapore and began his career at a government-affiliated research institute. He was appointed as Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s chief secretary in 2005, and entered politics by being elected to the National Assembly in 2011.

He has extensive experience in Singapore’s cabinet, including serving as Minister of Culture, Youth, National Development, and Education, and becoming Minister of Finance in 2021. In 2022, he served as co-chair of the government-wide task force (TF) in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and was credited with raising his profile. With this, Prime Minister Wong was promoted to Deputy Prime Minister in June 2022, solidifying the succession structure for the position of Prime Minister.

In Singapore, the president is the head of state and is a symbolic position that promotes national unity. In reality, the prime minister exercises supreme authority in all areas, including politics and administration. Prior to taking office, Prime Minister Wong carried out a small cabinet reshuffle on the 13th, promoting Trade and Industry Minister Gan Kim Yong to deputy prime minister. Other than the promotion to Deputy Prime Minister, most of the current ministers were retained. Prime Minister Wong will also continue to serve as Finance Minister after taking office. Outgoing Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong will support the cabinet as a senior minister.

There are observations that Singapore’s economic and diplomatic policies will not change significantly. Prime Minister Wong said, “Continuity and stability are the top considerations as the current government’s term ends,” and added, “There will be changes in cabinet composition and policies after next year’s general elections.” Singapore’s general elections are scheduled to be held before November next year, but there is a possibility that the timing may be brought forward due to changes in leadership.

Reporter Song Ji-yu [email protected]

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