Life after the Lees? Singapore prepares for the future

Finance minister becomes likely successor to Lee Hsien Loong as city-state positions for more challenging future.

Published by Al Jazeera English, Nov. 30, 2018

By Tom Benner

Singapore – Lee Kuan Yew, known as the founding father of Singapore, oversaw its growth from a small country with no natural resources to a thriving metropolis – in a style almost invariably described as authoritarian.

Lee dominated public life on the Southeast Asian island from 1959, when the former British colony won self-governance, to well beyond his retirement as prime minister in 1990, serving in advisory ministerial roles for more than a decade.

His eldest son, Lee Hsien Loong, the third and current prime minister since 2004 (his predecessor Goh Chok Tong was seen by some as merely a seat warmer) has led the country through less combative, more prosperous times.

Approaching 67, he wants to step down by the time he turns 70.

The founding family appears to be at the end of its run, with no younger Lees apparently willing to continue the family’s political tradition. In a country accustomed to stability and predictability, the dawn of a post-Lee era has fuelled uncertainty. Continue reading …

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