Lee Hsien Yang, the estranged younger brother of Singapore’s Prime Minister will not contest in the city-state’s July 10 general elections, deflating the hype built up after he joined the opposition as the nine-day campaigning period kicked off Tuesday.
In a Facebook post, he said,“I have chosen not to stand for political office because I believe Singapore does not need another Lee”.
“I do not seek power, prestige or financial rewards of political office. I hope to be a catalyst for change.”
While Singapore doesn’t allow opinion polls, most analysts expect the PAP to easily win again. Still, any narrowing of its victory margin could reflect an erosion of confidence in its new generation of leaders, particularly regarding how they are handling the pandemic.
On Saturday, the Prime Minister said Singapore looked forward to working with the European Commission, like-minded countries, the World Health Organisation, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, “to develop vaccines and distribute them fairly and expeditiously to people in all countries”.
Lee Hsien Loong, who turns 70 in 2022, has signaled his intent to make way for his successor, widely expected to be current Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat.
On Monday, he said that the election isn’t about him or any family disputes, but about Singapore’s future at a critical juncture, according to the Straits Times.
The siblings have clashed over Lee Kuan Yew’s will, and in particular, his famous Oxley Road house.
Last week, President Halimah Yacob dissolved Parliament, paving the way for a widely-anticipated general election that will take place in phase two of the city-state’s reopening amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
A Writ of Election, which specifies the date of the polls, is expected to be issued shortly, while Nomination Day has been set for June 30.
The election, Singapore’s 13th since independence, is likely to again see the People’s Action Party (PAP) challenged for all seats – as the ruling party was in 2015, said The Straits Times report.