Friday, 2 February 2018

ESM Goh wants 4th-Gen PM to be picked this year but PM Lee tells him off

Update 10 Jul 2018: Lee Hsien Loong has yet to identify a clear successor – but what about Ho Ching?

While the lack of an identifiable successor for next Premiership has concerned Singaporeans, another critical entity – Temasek Holdings – also seems to face a lack of a successor.

According to the Government, the national investment entity manages $198 billion of our reserves. The weight of this organization was also emphasized by former Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, who said in Parliament that the government has a clear interest in Temasek continuing to have strong leadership, so that it can deliver good returns over the long term”.

Yet, there appears to be no successor for Ho Ching who has been Temasek’s CEO since 2002. While we have no details as to when the search for her successor started, some reference can be made to a Parliamentary response which stated that Temasek’s Board and the current CEO Ho Ching has “set about the process of CEO succession review since 2005”.

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Ho Ching Temasek CEO, Nearly a decade after failed leadership succession plans

The head of Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund is a familiar face to many and interest in the fund’s chief executive has always been rife, considering that she is also Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s wife.

This year, Ho Ching will complete 16 years at Temasek. She joined the organisation, then called Temasek Holdings, as a director in January 2002 before she was promoted to executive director just four months later, in May. Two years after she joined Temasek, Ho Ching became its Chief Executive Officer on 1 January 2004 – a role she has held for the past 14 years.

Interestingly, next year (2019) will not only mark a decade and a half since Ho Ching took the reins of Temasek, it will also mark a decade after leadership succession plans for a new CEO to replace Ho Ching fell through in a boardroom bust-up in 2009 – just three months before the new CEO was supposed to take over.

related: WHY DOESN’T TEMASEK DISCLOSE MANAGEMENT COSTS

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Call for Goh Chok Tong to Lead the Opposition in next Election

It is time to change, and ESM Goh is now the key to Singapore's future.

He has all the credentials to make Singapore great again. We hope ESM Goh will take up this challenge for the good of the people.

If a 93-year-old man across the straits can do it, a 77-year-old Goh Chok Tong should be able to do even better.

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PM Lee 'watches' ESM Goh's Facebook posts; comment comes after exchange on leadership
ESM Goh Chok Tong posted this foto on his Facebook page on Monday (Feb 5)

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong shared a Facebook post on Monday (Feb 5) by Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong which spoke of how the latter "watches" far from the "maddening crowd".

In sharing Mr Goh’s post, Mr Lee said he was "watching" the posts of the Marine Parade MP, adding "Touche" & a smiling emoji.

The exchange comes after Mr Goh, writing on Facebook on Dec 31 last year, called on Singapore’s younger office holders to choose a potential prime minister from among them within 6 to 9 months. This prompted a response from Mr Lee, who said on Jan 26 that Mr Goh was "speaking with the privilege of watching things", rather than being responsible for making them happen.


PM Lee Hsien Loong ‘watching’ ESM Goh Chok Tong’s Facebook posts
Screen shot of Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong’s post on his MParader Facebook page on 5 February 2018

“Watching” has become a social media buzzword in Singapore.

All because of a light-hearted exchange on Facebook between Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong in recent days.

The exchange began on a serious note, however, on New Year’s Eve when Goh called on the younger ministers to choose the next prime minister among them within six to nine months.


Lee Hsien Loong shared MParader's post 18 hrs

“Watching” MParader's posts: Touché! :) – LHL


MParader added 2 new photos 23 hrs

I watch as he ruminates in the calmness of Learning Forest, far from the maddening crowd.---gct

“Wow! PM watched my earlier post and reposted on his (http://bit.ly/2E4fmMG). 😁🤝 ---gct”


MParader 2 February at 07:06

Had a good, warm chat with former Iranian Minister of Economic Affairs and Finance, Dr Tayebnia. He is our first LKY Exchange Fellow from Iran. I recalled my two visits to Iran fondly, the first as Prime Minister and the second, as Senior Minister. Both of us now 'watch' things happen, and coincidentally share a common title. He serves as Senior Advisor to his President while I serve as Senior Advisor to MAS! --- gct


ESM Goh Chok Tong Engages PM Lee And Sarcastic Netizen In Epic Clapbacks On Facebook
ESM Goh Chok Tong Has ‘Watchful’ Exchange With PM Lee After Clapback At Sarcastic Netizen

To usher in 2018, Emeritus Senior Minister (ESM) Goh composed a heartfelt Facebook post that would set the political tone for the year to come. He set out a timeline of “6 – 9 months” for a decision to be made regarding succession of the PAP’s leadership.

This sparked off a lengthy chain of events — national discussions and rife speculation about the potential front-runners for the top post of Prime Minister (PM).

Prime Minister (PM) Lee Hsien Loong even chipped in to say that ESM Goh spoke “with the privilege of watching things [happen]”, debunking ESM Goh’s 6-9 month timeline.


ESM Goh wants 4th-Gen PM to be picked this year, But PM Lee tells him off
A month ago on the last day of last year (31 Dec 2017), ESM Goh Chok Tong suddenly made a Facebook post talking about settling 4th generation political leadership in Singapore

However, despite the good intentions coming from ESM Goh to quickly see Singapore placed in good hands of the next generation prime minister, Singapore's present Prime Minister was not amused.

Speaking to the media in New Delhi on Friday (26 Jan), PM Lee Hsien Loong said, "ESM (Goh) is speaking with the privilege of watching things rather than being responsible to make it happen. I think we know it's a very serious matter."

That is, PM Lee is saying ESM Goh is not running the show presently since he is not the Singapore's PM and therefore, not responsible to make things happen as one. As such, ESM Goh's words meant nothing.



Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) on Friday

Just when you need new and bold leadership ...



2017 did not end with the glorious sunset I had hoped but 2018 offers a fresh start. Even though the weather is wet and gloomy, let us usher in the new year with optimism and sunshine smiles. We need to be in good spirits to tackle the pressing and longer term challenges for Singapore. One urgent challenge I would like to see settled is our fourth generation leadership. Every succession is different, but one thing remains the same: each cohort will have to pick one amongst themselves to lead, and support him. I hope the current cohort will do so in 6 - 9 months' time. Then PM can formally designate their choice as his potential successor before 2018 ends. Whoever is chosen, the team will have to work together, bring in others, and gel to form a cohesive fourth generation Cabinet. They must write a new inspiring chapter for Singapore, be courageous to make difficult decisions, stand all with integrity, and earn the respect and trust of Singaporeans and the world at large. This is my wish for the new year - a Singapore in good hands, a Singapore that all of us build together. As for me, I give a helping hand to some organisations serving vulnerable Singaporeans, especially people with special needs. I am also focused on a few projects to make Marine Parade a Complete Home for All Ages. Happy New Year! --- gct


Wake Up, Singapore shared Andrew Loh's post 26 January at 19:01

PM Lee openly criticises former PM Goh Chok Tong. Could this be a sign of disunity within the ruling party?


Andrew Loh 26 January at 05:47

This (below) is quite an extraordinary swipe by Lee Hsien Loong at Goh Chok Tong. The Prime Minister taking a swipe at the Emeritus Senior Minister over a Facebook post. Extraordinary.

From CNA:
  • Mr Lee’s comments follow a Facebook post by Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong which said that having the People’s Action Party’s fourth generation leadership in place and settled is an “urgent challenge” in 2018. Mr Goh added that he hoped the current cohort of younger officeholders would identify a leader from amongst themselves in six to nine months.
  • Mr Lee said that he would not be able to say for certain if they would be able to choose a leader in that time frame, but is confident that “it would be done in good time".
  • Mr Lee also said that Mr Goh was "speaking with the privilege of watching things, rather than being responsible for making them happen".
  • CNA: https://www.channelnewsasia.com/…/pm-lee-no-new-dpm-deputy



ESM Goh hopes next PM will be chosen in 2018
Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong on Sunday (Dec 31) expressed his hope for the identity of Singapore’s next PM to be settled in the next 6 to 9 months. TODAY file foto

Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong on Sunday (Dec 31) expressed his hope for the identity of Singapore’s next Prime Minister to be decided in the 6 six to 9 months.

Writing on his FaceBook page, Mr Goh said an “urgent challenge” which he would like to see settled is the country’s fourth-generation leadership.

“Every succession is different, but one thing remains the same: Each cohort will have to pick one amongst themselves to lead, & support him,” said Mr Goh, who was Singapore’s second Prime Minister before he was succeeded by Mr Lee Hsien Loong in 2004.


Timely for next PM to be identified by Sept, say analysts
ESM Goh Chok Tong speaking at the 13th anniversary dialogue session at auditorium of the LKY School of Public Policy on 8th September 2017. foto: Najeer Yusof/TODAY

Following recent comments by Emeritus Senior Minister (ESM) Goh Chok Tong, political analysts believe the identity of Singapore’s next Prime Minister will be made known latest by September, in time for the Republic to showcase its next leader when global statesmen — including those from the Association of South-east Asian Nations (ASEAN), the United States & China — come to town for meetings towards the end of the year.

They also expect Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to lead the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP) in the next General Election (GE), due by January 2021, and remain in power for one to two years after the polls — giving his successor a runway of up to five years before assuming the top job.

In a FaceBook post on Dec 31, Mr Goh — who was Singapore’s second PM — expressed his hope for PM Lee’s successor to be chosen by his peers in the fourth generation leadership in the next six to nine months, and formally designated “before 2018 ends”.


Lee Hsien Loong with Goh Chok Tong

Speaking to reporters yesterday (Jan 26), Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, saying that the former PM is just watching:
ESM Goh is speaking with the privilege of watching things rather than being responsible to make it happen. I think we know it’s a very serious matter.
Holding the position of Emeritus Senior Minister (ESM), Goh Chok Tong had earlier last month complained that Lee Hsien Loong is taking too long to choose his successor. ESM Goh Chok Tong had also told state media reporters that Lee Hsien Loong would retire by 70 years old, which the Prime Minister had never commented to the public when he intend to retire.


Ong Ye Kung agrees with PM’s take, first to comment on longer leadership succession timeline

Minister Ong Ye Kung is the first among the three potential successors to break the ice.

So far, he is the only one who has commented on Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s remarks about leadership succession, which were made on Jan. 26, 2018.

On Sunday, the Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills) and the Second Minister for Defence, told Channel NewsAsia and Today that he thought it was good not to be constrained by the “artificial deadline” of six or nine months to choose the next PM.


Good not to be constrained by 'artificial deadline': Ong Ye Kung on picking next PM
Minister Ong Ye Kung giving out goodie bags as part of the We Care event. (foto: Rachelle Lee)

Minister for Education (Higher Education & Skills) Ong Ye Kung said on Sunday (Jan 28) it is good that Singapore leaders are not constrained by an "artificial deadline" when choosing the next prime minister from among the country's younger ministers.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said on Friday that he would not be able to say for certain if a leader could be chosen in 6 to 9 months, which was the time frame suggested by Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong in an earlier Facebook post.

Giving his thoughts on the matter, Mr Ong, who is also the Second Minister for Defence, said: "PM has said that it will need a while longer. I think it's useful. As our younger-generation ministers have said, we would select somebody to be the leader among us in good time.”


4G leadership transition need not be constrained by artificial deadline: Ong Ye Kung
Education Minister (Higher Education & Skills) Ong Ye Kung agrees with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong that the fourth-generation leadership should not be constrained by a timeline as they select a frontrunner among themselves. TODAY file foto

The country’s 4th generation leadership team need not be constrained by an “artificial deadline” to select a new leader among themselves, said Education Minister (Higher Education & Skills) Ong Ye Kung on Sunday (Jan 28).

“I think it is useful, as our younger generation ministers would have said, we would select somebody to be the leader amongst us in good time,” he said at the sidelines of a community event in Yishun when asked to comment on how Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong had said on Friday that the process will need a while longer.

“So I think it is good not to be constrained by 6 or 9 months,” Mr Ong said.


PM Lee would like to hand over to his successor only after the next General Election

PM Lee’s predecessor, Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong had said last month that he hoped the next head of government would be identified in the next 6-9 months. His comments sparked fresh discussion on leadership transition and appeared to be the catalyst for 16 members of the 4G leadership to note the urgency and agree to “settle on a leader from amongst us in good time,” in a joint statement.

PM Lee responded to ESM Goh’s comments and said that the ESM is speaking “with the privilege of watching things, rather than being responsible to make it happen”.

He added:
  • “We know it’s a serious matter, a pressing issue, as the younger ministers have already said in their statement and they know my timetable, after next General Election – earlier rather than later – I would like to hand over to a successor.
  • “And I think the team is taking shape, the dynamics amongst them. They are working adults, they are learning to work together.”



4G leaders could take more than 9 months to pick a leader among them: PM Lee
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong says no new Deputy Prime Ministers will be appointed in the upcoming Cabinet reshuffle. TODAY File foto

Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong sparked a new round of discussions on Singapore’s leadership transition in recent weeks after he publicly expressed his hope that Mr Lee’s successor could be identified in the next 6 to 9 months.

Mr Goh’s comments, via a Facebook post in late December, prompted 16 members of the 4G leadership to issue a joint response where they said they were aware of the urgency & would “settle on a leader from amongst us in good time”.

Asked about Mr Goh’s remarks, Mr Lee said the former PM was speaking “with the privilege of watching things, rather than being responsible to make it happen”.


PM Lee: I’d like to hand over to a successor after the next election

Reporter: He suggested a six- to nine-month timeline for the 16 4G ministers to come up with a leader of their own. What are your thoughts on this?

PM Lee: Well, ESM is "speaking with the privilege of watching things rather than being responsible to make it happen". I think we know it is a very serious matter, it’s a pressing issue, as the younger ministers have already said in their statement. They know my timetable. After the next election, earlier rather than later, I would like to hand over to a successor.

I think that the team is taking shape. The dynamics amongst them, they’re working it out. They are learning to work together and also they need a bit of time for Singaporeans to get a feel of them, not just be known as public figures, but to be responsible for significant policies and making significant policies, to carrying them to justifying them, defending them, adapting them and making them work. And showing that they deserve to lead. And I think that will be done in good time, as they say, I would not be able to say for certain that it would be settled in the the next six to nine months but it will have to be done in good time. I’m confident it will be.


No new deputy prime ministers expected to be appointed after the Budget: PM Lee
However, Mr Lee is “not expecting to have new deputy prime ministers after the Budget"

Mr Lee’s comments follow a Facebook post by Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong  which said that having the People’s Action Party’s 4th generation leadership in place & settled is an “urgent challenge” in 2018. Mr Goh added that he hoped the current cohort of younger officeholders would identify a leader from amongst themselves in 6 to 9 months.

Mr Lee said that he would not be able to say for certain if they would be able to choose a leader in that time frame, but is confident that “it would be done in good time".

Mr Lee also said that Mr Goh was "speaking with the privilege of watching things", rather than being responsible for making them happen.


PM Lee’s Latest On 4G Leadership is the Reason We Don’t Care About Politics

If you’ve already placed your bets on who would become the next Prime Minister, too bad—you’ll need to wait for another year at least.

After weeks of speculation about PM Lee’s successor, the man in the top seat threw a curveball by announcing yesterday he would not appoint a new Deputy Prime Minister in the upcoming Cabinet reshuffle, expected to take place after the Budget on Feb 19.

PM Lee’s rationale is that Singaporeans need more time to get a feel of the 4G leadership, who will be given more leadership roles in the reshuffle. They need to be known not just as public figures, “but to be responsible for significant policies … carrying them, justifying them, defending them, adapting them, making them work, and showing that they deserve to lead.”


What will the next Singaporean PM offer
Lee Hsien Loong has indicated he will step down as Prime Minister after the next election. Who will succeed him and what will this mean for Singapore?

Lee Hsien Loong threw the hungry public a bone on who might succeed him as Prime Minister of Singapore. Lee, 65, revealed he would step down as Prime Minister before the age of 70, after the next election. He admitted in an interview that his successor would “very likely” be from the ministers already in his cabinet.

Who are the frontrunners? Deputy Prime Ministers Teo Chee Hean, 62, and Tharman Shanmugaratnam, 60, are approaching Lee’s age themselves. This means the Deputy Prime Ministers are extremely unlikely to be in contention as his successor.

Recent cabinet reshuffles indicate the next prime minister comes from the fourth generation of Singaporean leadership. The frontrunners among this younger group are Chan Chun Sing, Heng Swee Keat and Ong Ye Kung.


Will the Next PM Have the Guts to Step Out of Lee Hsien Loong’s Shadow?


A couple of times last year, I found myself discussing with my friends, over drinks of course, the inevitable conundrum that is the next prime minister.


We rattled off the various appointments each potential successor to Lee Hsien Loong held, and compared who was most qualified to take the top seat. Those working in the civil service even had one or two tidbits about each candidate’s quirks and working styles to share.

Yet our debates always remained inconclusive because we weren’t able to pick out a single standout minister whom we thought deserved to be the next PM.

related: Shoot, Shag, Marry: Future PM Edition


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ST attempts to shape public opinion with 3rd option: PM Lee to stay beyond 70 as PM


ST Insight Editor Elgin Toh published an article today (‘Should PM Lee lead beyond 70?‘, 2 Feb) advocating a third option of having PM Lee to continue to lead Singapore as PM, well beyond age 70.


This option came about because of differences between PM Lee and ESM Goh in the last couple of months.



On 31 Dec 2017, ESM Goh suddenly posted a Facebook message urgently asking the 4th generation PAP ministers to choose the next PM amongst them. He wanted to see the PM-designate in place in the next 6 to 9 months.

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