SINGAPORE: Five senior members of the People’s Action Party (PAP) will step down from its Central Executive Committee (CEC), party secretary-general Lee Hsien Loong announced on Sunday (Nov 11).
They are: Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan, Deputy Prime Ministers Teo Chee Hean and Tharman Shanmugaratnam, as well as Dr Yaacob Ibrahim and Mr Lim Swee Say.
He was speaking at the PAP’s awards and conference on Sunday, where the party will elect a new slate of members into its CEC – the highest decision-making body in the party.
Dr Yaacob and Mr Lim had retired from the Cabinet earlier this year following a reshuffle.
In his speech, Mr Lee said that while Mr Khaw, Mr Teo and Mr Tharman will step down from the CEC, they will remain in Cabinet. Describing them as three of his “closest comrades-in-arms”, he said they go back a long way.
“We have fought many battles over the years, and gone through ups and downs together,” he said.
“I cannot do justice to the contributions of these five retiring CEC members in my speech this morning,” he added. “But all five have served the party with loyalty and distinction, and for that, we all owe them a big thank you.”
With the CEC election on Sunday, Mr Lee said the party is taking a “major step in political renewal”. He said following the elections, the new CEC will meet within “a couple of weeks” to elect a new slate of office holders. In due course, he added, he would follow up with changes in the Cabinet lineup.
PM LEE: CONFIDENT 4G LEADERSHIP TEAM HAS WHAT IT TAKES TO LEAD SINGAPORE
Mr Lee also described the fourth generation (4G) leadership team as a team of “able men and women”, with a “good combination of skills among them.”
He said the 4G team has been in Cabinet for several years, and have been tested in several portfolios, adding that they are working with each other, and learning to complement each other’s strengths and weaknesses.
“They are gaining experience, willing to serve, and most importantly, with their hearts in the right place,” he said. “I can see them gelling as a team, and am confident that they have what it takes to lead Singapore.”
Mr Lee also added that this party conference may be the last one before the next General Election.
“The new CEC will be leading the party into the final stretch, gearing up to put our record before voters,” he said.
“The PAP must win the GE convincingly.”