Will PM Lee become SM and stay in Cabinet after 4th Gen PM appointed?

Photo: Today Online

In 1990 when Lee Kuan Yew stepped down as Prime Minister, Goh Chok Tong was sworn in as the second generation PM with Lee Hsien Loong appointed as Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) – essentially, the PM-designate as the third generation PM of Singapore.

Goh himself was the First DPM from 1985 to 1990 while Lee Kuan Yew was the PM. Goh became the PM-designate after the second generation leaders decided among themselves in 1984 to elect Goh as their leader.

At the time, the second generation leaders were Ong Teng Cheong, Tony Tan, Lim Chee Onn, Dhanabalan, Ahmad Mattar, Jayakumar and Goh himself. They were all roped in during 1972 to 1980.

After the second generation leaders were more or less in place, first generation leaders left the Cabinet one-by-one. For example, Lim Kim San left the Cabinet in 1980, Toh Chin Chye in 1981, Goh Keng Swee in 1984 while Rajaratnam in 1988.

But Lee Kuan Yew continued to stay on in the Cabinet even after Goh became the PM. He stayed on as the Senior Minister.

Lee Hsien Loong became 3rd-Gen PM in 2004

After serving as DPM for 14 years, Lee Hsien Loong finally became the third generation PM, replacing Goh in 2004.

However, Goh continued to stay on in the Cabinet as Senior Minister while Lee Kuan Yew as Minister Mentor.

Before 2004, some second generation leaders were already making way for third generation leaders to come on board by leaving the Cabinet.

Mr Ong left in 1993 to run for Singapore’s first elected presidency. He served one term as the Elected President of Singapore from 1993 to 1999. He passed away in 2002.

Tony Tan and Dhanabalan resigned from Cabinet in 1991, one year after Goh became PM.

In 1992, Lee Hsien Loong was diagnosed with cancer and Dhanabalan had to be temporarily recalled back to take over Lee’s duties at the Ministry of Trade and Industry. Dhanabalan left again in 1993.

Tony Tan returned back to the Cabinet in 1995 at Goh’s request to shore up the government and finally left in 2005.

Goh and Lee Kuan Yew finally left Cabinet together in 2011

In 2011 GE, PAP obtained the lowest percentage of votes ever in Singapore’s history garnering 60%. The incident triggered the resignation of Goh and Lee Kuan Yew from the Cabinet.

Immediately one week after the 2011 GE in May, both issued a joint statement to the public saying PM Lee and his team “should have a fresh clean slate”:

“We have studied the new political situation and thought how it can affect the future. We have made our contributions to the development of Singapore. The time has come for a younger generation to carry Singapore forward in a more difficult and complex situation.

The Prime Minister and his team of younger leaders should have a fresh clean slate. A younger generation, besides having a non-corrupt and meritocratic government and a high standard of living, wants to be more engaged in the decisions which affect them.

After a watershed general election, we have decided to leave the cabinet and have a completely younger team of ministers to connect to and engage with this young generation in shaping the future of our Singapore. But the younger team must always have in mind the interests of the older generation.  This generation who has contributed to Singapore must be well-looked after.”

About a month ago, ESM Goh (now just an ordinary MP) wrote on his Facebook page, expressing his concerns of the urgent need for the 4th generation leaders to elect the next PM amongst them. He wanted to see the PM-designate in place by Jun or Sep this year.

But PM Lee rebuked him publicly through the media saying, “ESM (Goh) is speaking with the privilege of watching things rather than being responsible to make it happen.” PM Lee thinks it will take a “little bit longer” to appoint the next PM-designate.

DPM Teo hopes for “senior members” to be in cabinet

DPM Teo Chee Hean, who is also Minister-in-charge of the civil service, said that it would be useful to have some “more senior” members in Cabinet to ensure continuity.

This was said during the Singapore Perspectives 2018 conference organised by the Institute of Policy, in response to a question by a member of the audience if there could be a larger representation of older people in Cabinet and the Civil Service so that there are more policymakers who can represent the point of view of older people in Singapore as the country ages.

Mr Teo said, this is one of the unique features of Singapore’s political system, and former prime ministers have remained in Cabinet as senior ministers and minister mentor after stepping down.

This was beneficial and a “great help” for younger members of the Cabinet in the past, he said of his own experience and hopes the younger leadership would also see the usefulness and benefits of such an arrangement.

In any case, when the 4th PM of Singapore is eventually elected and put in place, the question remains if PM Lee will leave a “fresh clean slate” for the 4th generation leaders by leaving the Cabinet? Or perhaps he will remain in the Cabinet as Senior Minister?

What do you think?


Vincent Low

* The article first appeared on The Online Citizen.



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32 Responses to “Will PM Lee become SM and stay in Cabinet after 4th Gen PM appointed?”

  • karma:

    We don’t give a fiack
    Return all our cPeeF @55 & apologise “cPeeF not pupils” & hDigB $0 @99 arseEnlargementScheme

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  • Uncle:

    Best if all ministers who eventually retire become SMs! We should not waste the country of their talents and vast experiences since after all they are the best of the bests.

    When we have a cabinet packed with lots of SMs, red dot will be very stable and safe.

    What do you think?

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  • Indian Is Malay Now:

    You talk as if you could decide or your opinion matters. As of now, what we dafts think do not matter a bit. Only a dumbo will ask another dumbo what it thinks, just like one dpm asked an impressionable kid a few moons ago.

    Talk is useless without action.
    If you have found sudden enlightenment and want your say, whether we have another expensive useless high mighty jialiaobee, vote out those pigs in parliament.

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  • jaywalker:

    It is obvious he has to stay in the cabinet to make sure the next clone not lift up the lid on the secrets that he and his father has.

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  • MarBowling:

    Think things will be very different this time round when the 4th Pee-M aka seatwarmer(101% will be Hum Kar Chan aka Bugs Bunny Chan)is appointed to squat on the Imperially Throne(Temporarily ONLY pending the final ascending of Imperial Throne by the 3rd Lee aka Li Horny). Think most likely Mai Hum will ask Woody to go fly kite and fiack spider by then. He will take on the post of SM(Senile Minister)and reinstate the MM(Mother Mentor)post for his talented wife HoLee(by then her post Head, TH would be passed on to Ms DisGraceFool or her sister, Ho Peng) to Mentor Hum Kar Chan and later on his son, Li Horny! Think this is the game plan of Mai Hum and FAMILEE.

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  • N.Jungne:

    Thanks Vincent
    As if Singapore belongs to PA and the PAP..what if PAP becomes the Minority in the Parliament, will L$L forcefully becomes the PM? What if L$L died before erection? Karma works mesteriously.

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  • Laughable really!:

    Even if not possible, im sure he’ll create a new post for himself…MMMMMM whatever!
    Can be sure he wont ride into the sunset..

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  • 鸟龙的人:


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  • Domesticated:

    I think it’s a no brainer that he will still be in-charge but in the background.

    Authoritarianism dies if it no longer controls everything absolutely.

    Nothing left to Chance. Everything artificial.

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  • highest-paid-in-the-world PM:

    The highest-paid-in-the-world PM is not able to think confidently on his own or does not have the confidence to make his own decisions and needs to have someone else to hold his hands to prop him up and see that he does not wobble.

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  • opposition dude:

    The PAP continues to let voters see just how jialat they are. On one hand want to wayang hand over to the so called $G leaders, on the other hand must have a few old cocks as seniors to represent the viewpoints of older voters ha ha ha. So damn funny.

    We already have 80+ PAP monkeys in parliament representing voters so to speak. How many of them regularly speak up on topics like why the hell housing is so expensive you need 25 years to pay it off or why the hell the CPF Minimum Sum has to go up every year because of some silly reason.

    So now the dinosaurs want to hang on in the cabinet to “speak up” for theolder generation. My, my, my, can PAP come up with the best excuses one can’t really argue against.

    It’s funny how PAP likes to say one thing and do another. It also shows how former PMs can’t seem to leave office for good when their term as PM is over. Lastly it also shows how inept the new leaders are supposed to be with all the old timers still bloody hanging on “speaking up” for older voters.

    If you want to remain in cabinet then you might as well be PM until the day you mati. Otherwise what is the use when you step down but still want to hang around?

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  • pap selected INDIAN president:

    he may want to be sm. but heaven has eyes. he may kaput before then.

    does clown truly believe there is no justice under the sky? can lie and harm fellow humans and get away scot free? we don’t think so.

    BTW we are ready for an INDIAN pm. the INDIAN indian. not the malay INDIAN. AND we are also ready for a woman PM. in these, we have Ms Sylvia Lim of WP, Mr Leon Perera of WP, Mr Kenneth Jeyaretnam of RP. Each of these fellow Singaporeans is far more worthy to be PM than the pap clown prince.

    INSIDE 200m is not within 200m? WTF.

    INDIAN is malay? WTF.

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  • patriot of Temesak:

    The OWL will drag him to where his pa is if he does NOT Repay & Repent!!!

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  • Authoritarianism is Total Ctrl:

    What kind of stupid question is this?

    If after he retire he does not possess the same controlling power as old man Harry, then the sun would have become the moon.

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  • LIONS:

    Ah Long better not $tay too LOONG or sgs will suffer even more.

    Voters better take this opportunity to vote in more oppo sgs before too late.
    Dont like msm threaten you that voting more oppo is bad for Sg.

    Is ah long good for sgs?
    Maybe he can be called Father of FAKE FTs.

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  • HarderTruths:

    This despot will not live long. He has cancer since 1996 for slapping an ex-minister and behaving like he was a god’s gift to $G people. His word is law in this tiny island.

    His father’s plan to have absolute power backfired when the father was not even able to fulfill his last wish for the Ox-tail house.

    This one will not go until he dies on the throne. You can see the merciless arrogance in his words and deeds.

    Only the Reaper can cure this situation. May he some soon.

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  • rukidding:

    Aiyo,…….the 3 “seng joo Pai ” standing side by side at Marina Sands is “waiting” for him to “Bingo”.

    Right Tower for Papa…ardy taken up.

    Left Tower for Mama….also ardy taken up.

    Now waiting for him to “fill up” the Middle tower.

    Once completed…..the Museum like “Kwang Ming Teng”…will be 24/7, 365 days “be lited”….until the day the Pimp and prostitute ( P.a.p. ) gang gets replaced / booted out !

    When that happens,…the “ship look alike rooftop” , connecting the 3 “seng Joo Pai” will “start sailing out into the vast Ocean” and “disappear” !

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  • Boh Kia See:

    the next PM will be Kee Chiu. Whether the current clown will continue in cabinet will have been discussed and agreed to before his appointment.

    Also, part of the agreement will be bringing the Clown’s son into Cabinet quietly, without fanfare. As Kee Chiu is related to the Lee family, this will keep every aspect within the Lee family.

    Being in Cabinet is the honey pot. Ministers will stay in cabinet till their last breathe–or maybe even on their death bed. There is just too much money to be taken to let go. So people stay in those positions and be obsequious in their behaviour.

    Woody did not resign from Cabinet himself. The Traitor betrayed him by making both of them resign together. It may well be the Traitor’s view that if he is not there to protect the Clown, his son, then he would not like to see any potential candidates to pose a risk to his son or out shine his son, the Clown. That may be the reason why both of them resigned from Cabinet at the same time.

    There is no need to add fuel to the wayang by discussing about the next PM–we already know–though the process may be protracted as the PAP will milk it for what it is worth.

    Incidentally, we must remember it is not the next PM of Singapore but for the PAP. The PAP and Singapore are different entities and in my view, the PAP is no longer working for the benefit of Singapore and Singaporeans.

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  • doggie:

    i am willing to bet my last dollar that die die there must have a member of the FamiLEE in the cabinet.

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  • Even Ling-Yang can't trust him:

    Obviously asking the obvious. It’s like asking if the sun will rise from the east tomorrow.

    You’re talking about a leeder who greeds for attention, money and power, and who doesn’t take criticism lying down (he’d even seek revenge on a nephew just to get back at his sibling for trying to expose the ugly side of him). For such a person, letting go of all the benefits that he has taken advantage of as a leeder and to step down from all the limelight is akin to asking him to perish from this world.

    So, I’d expect him to die die must also remain in the Cabinet. I bet he’d even lock himself in the Cabinet and ask the key to be thrown away.

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  • No one audited gdp?:

    Sg politics is NAKED.
    WE ALL KNOW who is SEAT WARMER AND who is the new heir them ng over that.

    If that is not NAKED what is?

    What a laughing stock.

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  • Small Change:

    Why bother about whether he will stay as SM? What is GIC Director pay and whether he will stay on and collect more money. That’s the real question to ask.

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  • BS:

    HIs brother and sister claimed he harbors hope for his son.

    So of course he will stay to pave way for his son to take over CCS.

    He even changed son name to Li for inheritance purpose

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  • Bystander:

    Absolutely, DPM Teo already voiced clearly, the new leaders need hands holding with old leaders nurturing from behind, a uniquely Singaporean tradition in politics.

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  • Obviously....:

    He will be Senior Minister for at least 2 terms before becoming Minister Mentor.

    Woody will be ‘removed’ after the next GE!

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  • Greed avocator:

    You bet another 20++ millions without work just yaya here and yaya there is what a greed has in his blood. It has to be so for karma to be effected. When a dynasty collapsed history showed that the last emperor clinged on to the evidence for hos collapse . Ming last emperor is an exception. He suddenly realized, felt ashamed and hanged himself on a lonely tree but not behind he killed his family but missed his daughter except herright arm to carry her dynasty shame to the Qing dynasty.

    He sen of the Qing dynasty was so arrogant and the greatest plp on earth to two Qing emperors who knew he w as so corrupt but didn’t chopped his head for his corruption in tern provided him with what he has wabnted for he is his best plp among the lesserbeing the re st of the pack with He Den right in front. But when he died, he le ft words to his son to arrest He Sen as he knew He Sen has been operating in opacity to usurped the throne after his death. Under modern saga, the succeeding emperor right after his father was pronounced dead sent his troop to arrest He sen and chopped his head and all his family members. He took over the entire estate, minused what went into the pocket of old plps beholdened to He Sen and the past emperor but now shift focus on the new emperor lp , worth more than the national asset. He Sen operation was entirely done in opacity but how the emperor knew was an inplanted emperor man in his household.

    Gr eed is man’s greatest destructor of his intellect and the cause of his breaking with his faith and not really breaking his promise with his real supporter the subjects and not the parasites which accelerates the destruction of his brain and his entire human values. This is perhaps why the Chritians were told that greed tops the five deadly sins and should be avoided but this has been abused by fake agent of the faith last the recent saga Singaporeans hear about.

    Greed is not just materials and financial. These are the end products but began with power and power provides the dark channels for materials flow. Contrary to what Sinkies were told, increasing wealth does not decrease greed but instead increases it. If a greed has a million, he would want 2, 10 100 and then multimillions. Greed is cancerous. It has no ends.

    So would greed stops taking what is so easily obtained. Only the electorate can stop it. The Chinese political advocate has a great cliche Water can float. Water also can sink it. But greed has concealed such lessons and has been the only one reason for dynasty collapse and change and the cycle repeat until there is sufficient checks and balances understood by leader with wisdom and dedication to pr eserve his integrity and his brains from grred attack.

    Halelujia. Good grief. Dogs have stonger resolve to…

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  • PAP CS decision makers, THINK!:

    pap selected INDIAN president:

    BTW we are ready for an INDIAN pm. the INDIAN indian. not the malay INDIAN. AND we are also ready for a woman PM. in these, we have Ms Sylvia Lim of WP, Mr Leon Perera of WP, Mr Kenneth Jeyaretnam of RP. Each of these fellow Singaporeans is far more worthy to be PM than the pap clown prince.

    What are your reasons for omitting Dr. Chee on your list?

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  • The Patriotic Singaporean:

    What I don’t understand is this. Goh Chok Tong already stepped down as PM for so many years. Why is he living in such as huge mansion? Is this mansion paid by him or the state? He has two guard posts outside his house and he has a motorcade every morning that escorts him to work. Has anyone seen how big his mansion is in Namly Avenue? There is no information and transparency in Singapore. Are we spending our hard earn money to feed him?

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  • What SIN becomes?:

    Many years ago, colonial no good get idependence. Then commuism is deadly sonuse colonial leftover to arrest any tom, dixk and harry not becos they r damn critical about new babarians but convenient commos to be put away for life without evidence in open court for which independence was sought for. Then came a mindless rotten idiot aided by a Confusient but then publicly told not the emperor man but a couple of banana. The mindless rotten idiot feels shaky asked sinners and then betrayed them to keep the damn seat for imbercile. Imbercile quckly braindead and toghether they raided the store, demanded more and daft sinners just feed and feed and the bi jia liao liao with aliens mices. Braindead imbercile cannot see beyond mindless imbercilsm and filled the house with similar species. Here rot there rot. Here speak garbage there speak garbage. Mices gnawed away and asked for more helping. Sinners like there is no salvation go kookoo and fork out every damn grain there have to fill up the stock to be instantly ranksacked. Rotten banana overnight became balachan and defender of alien scumbag. Sinners are happily seeking salvation in a cesspools of braindead greeds extremo and rotten bananas enoowered themselves to eradicate all germides ready to exterminate all rotting agents. Cesspool needs detoxication but cesspool now equip with power to keep the stink and trying to overflow and flood the once nice paradise long long time ago. Are you willing to be converted to nothing more than mindless imbercile rotten bananas to finally drop into the cesspool. The choice is yours perhaps next year or the year after to clean up the whole damn stinking hole accumuated with shits for the last 50 years!

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  • Ali baba:

    If the clown wants to exceed his dadi by 20 yrs or more, no problem. Call himself what he likes, we don’t care. Just stop paying and wasting public money.

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  • re Uncle u r siao extremo:

    SM and above is the creation of greed. Greed is the top evil on the list of evils of all religion. So unless u r siao or a talented satirist, u should rushed straight to a psychiatrist who will charged u not $8 but like hell following aill the Biw. If u have children and grandchildren, do think of their future.

    Good grief one would have though as one grows older one becomes wiser. So unless u are being sacastic, u really have wasted your life being conned, insulted and bullied but remaining grateful on the knee. Really beyond redemption.

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  • Daft stupid Singaporeans:

    Singaporeans must be daft right to the bone if they still expects those Biw to represent your view. They work for their own benefits and interests. They don’t even trust u and bring in aliens to take away available jobs, overload your country infrastructure, spending hell of a lot money educating foreign children and looking after the welfare of them and their children. They would rather throw the monies on buying companies and paid off their debts before they finally died in their own hands, one minister told u what the hell you kpkb about high medical treatment while he onky paid $8 for his heart operation and first class superior wards while another knowing the cat is out of the bag told u he paid just as u paid without giving a figure because he doesn’t know how much u pay, Your Esm and PM kept dumb on their much publicised near conk srates but seem to recover very quickly neh.

    Now they have pushed thru a locally fabricated ISA to detent u whenever they feel like it if you are against these Biw. Wake up and shed you stupidilty to think. They dont want u to go to u be cause not enough for the aliens to import to choki u. So dont dream they will serve u. They want more whether u like it or not.

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