Lee Hsien Yang says he chose not to stand for political office

This article is more than 12 months old

Despite actively campaigning in Tanjong Pagar GRC over the past week and refusing to rule out the possibility of contesting the election, Mr Lee Hsien Yang will not be on the ballot for the Progress Singapore Party (PSP) on July 10.

Mr Lee, 62, the younger brother of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, turned up yesterday morning at a coffee shop near the nomination centre for Tanjong Pagar GRC wearing a PSP polo shirt, but he did not walk into the centre.

PSP chief Tan Cheng Bock later said that he never asked Mr Lee to run as a candidate.

"I wanted him to be as neutral as possible," he said.

In a Facebook post later, Mr Lee Hsien Yang said that although he grew up in a family at the centre of Singapore politics, political leadership here "needs to be much more than about one family or one man".

"I have chosen not to stand for political office because I believe Singapore does not need another Lee.

"The empirical evidence shows that dynastic politics causes bad government. When people enter politics on the back of the family name, they are often evaluated based on their parents and not their performance," he wrote. "This unfair advantage undermines meritocracy. How can we expect politicians to hold each other to account, if they are blood relations?"

He said he is interested in politics, to be "involved through speaking up, by supporting candidates and parties I believe in, by contributing my time, ideas and resources to causes I support, and by seeking an open and independent media".

Yesterday, after it was clear that Mr Lee would not be a candidate, Dr Tan said he never teased voters about the possibility.

"I never tease. If the voters feel teased, it's their problem," he said. "You asked me a political question, I gave you a political answer." - THE STRAITS TIMES