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Singapore swears in its first new PM in two decades

Economist Lawrence Wong was on Wednesday sworn in as Singapore's fourth prime minister in a planned political transition for the island state.Wong succeeded Lee Hsien Loong who relinquished his position after two decades, both belong to the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP) that has been driving Singapore’s economic progress for more than five decades.Wong, who was the deputy prime minister, will be leading the fourth generation PAP politicians’ government as the Prime Minister and the Finance Minister.He is the first Singaporean leader born after its independence in 1965.
The succession has been long coming, with Lee's plans of stepping down before he turned 70 up-ended by the pandemic, and by a transition fumble when his anointed successor unexpectedly ruled himself out of the running in 2021.Wong rose to prominence in 2020 as co-chair of the pandemic task force and was named Lee's successor in April 2022 after a series of consultations between the political leadership and Wong's peers.He was promoted to deputy prime minister and led a high-profile public consultation exercise to chart a "social compact" between the government and the people on dealing with issues like sustainability, inequality and employment.
Wong made a very minor cabinet reshuffle on Monday, promoting the trade minister to become his deputy, noting that continuity and stability were key considerations. He has pledged a bigger reshuffle after an election due by 2025.Lee will remain in Wong's cabinet as senior minister, as former Singapore prime ministers have done, preserving the political clout of the long-serving Lee family.

 


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