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Chan: Strong team of leaders key to Singapore's success

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Singapore's political leadership model is "one of continuity", and this can be expected in the upcoming transition at the highest ranks, Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing said yesterday.

He was replying to Asia House chief executive Michael Lawrence at a regional conference organised by the Britain-based centre of expertise on Asia, held at the Mandarin Oriental hotel.

Citing a news report, Mr Lawrence asked if the ruling People's Action Party (PAP) will announce today its line-up of the party's top fourth-generation leaders.

Mr Chan said: "Our leadership model is one of continuity, and I think we can all expect that. The way we do business, and the way we relate to the world, is that we provide a certain predictability, a certain continuity, to how we do things."

It was reported earlier that the announcement will give Singaporeans a good sense of who is likely to become Singapore's fourth prime minister, with sources saying the party's top decision-making body has met to finalise its choice of first assistant secretary-general.

This second-in-command position, traditionally held by a deputy prime minister, will give an indication of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's probable successor.

Asked about the matter yesterday, Mr Chan said: "There are artificialities when people divide the leadership into different generations, but there are also similarities across each and every generation.

"We have been fortunate in Singapore, not because we think that we have leaders who are more clever than others. But we would like to pride ourselves on having a leadership model that is stronger than the sum of the individual parts."

He also noted that having leaders who can put aside their individual interests to work for a country's benefit as a team is a key factor to a nation's success.

Singapore, he added, has been able to find leadership teams that abide by this in the past 53 years.

"The younger generation of leaders are similarly focused on this, building the strongest team for Singapore to ensure that every generation of Singaporeans can continue this dream of ours, to stay sovereign, independent, successful," said Mr Chan.

"For each generation of Singaporeans, our definition of success is not how well we do for ourselves, but how well we enable the next generation to do even better for themselves. And that is how we will continue to take this country forward."

Singapore Politics