SINGAPORE: If Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong is on leave, Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean will be appointed Acting Prime Minister.
This will be the interim arrangement until the fourth-generation People’s Action Party (PAP) team chooses its new leader, Lee said Thursday (April 8) following the deputy prime minister’s decision. Heng Swee Keat to step down.
Mr. Teo, who is also Minister of National Security Coordination, was Acting Prime Minister in Mr. Lee’s absence – until Mr. Heng was chosen as head of 4G and became vice-president. Prime Minister in 2019.
“Now that DPM Heng has stepped down as the 4G leader, I am going back to the previous arrangement and will appoint SM Teo Chee Hean as Acting Prime Minister in my absence in the future,” Mr. Lee in response to questions from the media.
“This is the interim arrangement until 4G chooses a new leader from among them.”
READ: DPM Heng says he is stepping down as 4G leader to make younger PM future PM
READ: PM Lee thanks DPM Heng Swee Keat for his ‘altruistic decision’ to step down as 4G team leader
Mr Heng announced Thursday that he is stepping down as leader of the 4G team, paving the way for a younger person to lead the country and succeed Mr Lee as prime minister.
“I have decided to step down as head of the 4G team, so that a young leader who has a longer track can take over,” he wrote in a letter to Mr. Lee.
“Although I am in good health today, it is in the best interest of the nation, for someone younger to take on the enormous challenges ahead.”
Heng will remain deputy prime minister and minister for economic policy coordination, but will step down as finance minister during the next cabinet reshuffle, which will take place in about two weeks.