Succession planning for S'pore leadership under way: PM

Succession planning for S'pore leadership under way: PM

"In Singapore, we pay a lot of attention to succession planning and making sure we have a new team ready and new leaders who are capable of taking charge, so that the country can move ahead and the leaders can be in sync with the country," he said.


Get the full story from The Straits Times.

Will Singapore be alright without PM Lee? 

Here is a transcript from SPH Razor of Mr Lee's dialogue with regional media editors at the Istana on Tuesday:

"If you are not Prime Minister tomorrow, will Singapore be alright?"

That's one of the questions posed to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the Straits Times Asia News Network Dialogue held at the Istana on Tuesday.

And his answer…

PM Lee: "That is the objective."

The question was asked by Mr Suthichai Yoon, chairman of Thailand's Nation Multimedia Group, in reference to how long Mr Lee plans to remain as Singapore's leader.

PM Lee: "Leaders stay as long as they are able to make a contribution. If they stay beyond that, then they've overstayed their welcome. And in Singapore we paid a lot of attention to succession planning and making sure that we have a new team ready and new leaders able… who are capable of taking charge so that the country can move ahead and the leaders can be in sync with the country.

"And I can't say exactly how long I'm staying but I'm 62 years old and that's not young."

In the one hour session, editors from newspapers across Asia, including China Daily and The Jakarta Post, sought PM Lee's views on a wide range of topics.

Tom Hsieh, Managing Editor, The China Post, asked: "What suggestion do you have for the student protesters who occupy the Legislative Yuan, Taiwan's parliament?"

June Wong, Group Chief Editor, The Star, asked: "Malaysia and Singapore have had an interesting relationship, ups and downs, through the years. How would you describe the relationship now? Is it very warm, is it an all time high? Are you on each other's speed dial or something?"

Mr Lee who had just returned from a two-day Malaysia-Singapore leader's retreat in Kuala Lumpur was also asked about the progress of the high-speed railway between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. While many of the details have not been nailed down, Mr Lee said that when completed, the railway link between Singapore and KL will be a gamechanger in the way the two countries do business.

Editor of The Straits Times, Warren Fernandez, also took the chance to ask the prime minister his experience with social media.

Mr Lee started his Facebook page 2 years ago and regularly posts his own pictures.

Mr Lee said: "People like to see the human side of you and it helps to build up the eyeballs and if you want to appear on people's new feeds you must make sure that people like you from time to time.

"There's a technique to it; when to post, how to post it, what language to use, how to keep it snappy and interesting.

"What sort of pictures to use, because the pictures make a big difference. If you post one of your own pictures that gives a more authentic feel to it. Even if it is not the best picture available.

"The dialogue was held in conjunction with the 15th anniversary of the Asia News Network, a grouping of 22 newspapers in Asia."

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