SINGAPORE: Residents of the RCMP’s east coast were surprised to learn that Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat would step down as fourth-generation team leader, with some saying it was “a shame.”
Heng announced Thursday, April 8, that he would step down as 4G chief minister, citing his age, health and the need for a “longer trail” for the future prime minister.
He wrote in his letter to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong: “Although I am in good health, it is in the best interests of the nation, for someone younger, to meet the enormous challenges that lie ahead.
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When TBEN visited the RCMP’s east coast – where Mr. Heng is an MP – on Thursday evening, many residents had not heard of the news and did not express an opinion on the matter when ‘we asked them.
Those who spoke to TBEN said they were surprised by the announcement.
In last year’s election, Mr. Heng led a five-member People’s Action Party to secure about 53 percent of the vote in the East Coast GRC, winning against the Workers’ Party.
Assistant steward Shaik Huzaini, 28, had not heard of Mr. Heng’s decision when he was approached. However, he said it was “unexpected” because he believed Mr. Heng would be the “next to take care of us.”
“He cares about Singapore and the next generation,” he said, citing Heng’s contributions during the COVID-19 pandemic. But Mr Shaik said he was “neutral” on the decision and would like to see what happens in the future.
Another resident, Mr Eldon Sng, 31, said it was a ‘big surprise’, but ‘in the end (Mr Heng) did his part as DPM (Deputy Prime Minister) And wished him good luck.
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Others said it was “a shame” to see Mr. Heng leave his post.
“Personally, I think it’s a shame,” said Ben Hiew, 28. “I have a good impression of (him). Because I’m independent, the financial policies he implemented really helped me during COVID.
“But I think he knows his own health better. I’m sure he made this decision knowing (what is) best for Singapore. My respect for him has definitely increased, ”he said.
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Echoing the same sentiment, Mr. Poh En Tat said it was a shame that Mr. Heng was no longer leading the 4G team. The 46-year-old said he believed Mr. Heng was managing Singapore’s financial situation “fairly well”.
He added that he often saw Mr. Heng in the neighborhood while jogging.
“He walks the field quite close to the people. I find it a pity.