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Leader of Opposition Pritam Singh pledges to work with next leader chosen by PAP's 4G

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SINGAPORE - Leader of the Opposition and Workers' Party chief Pritam Singh has pledged to work with the next leader of the ruling party's fourth generation (4G) leadership team, following the announcement that Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat will step down from the role.

With the move, Mr Heng will no longer be the successor to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

In response to queries from The Straits Times, Mr Singh said: "The news of DPM Heng's decision to step down as Singapore's next PM came as a surprise.


"As the Opposition in Parliament, my Workers' Party colleagues and I will work with whoever is selected by the 4G PAP, and the Government of the day, for the betterment of Singapore and Singaporeans."

During a press conference at the Istana, Mr Heng, who turns 60 this year, cited his age, and the fact that the Covid-19 crisis will not come to an end soon as reasons for his decision.

He said with succession plans delayed by the pandemic, he would be older by the time he takes over as prime minister and have a shorter runway.


He added that a younger leader would be better able to rebuild Singapore after the pandemic and lead the next phase of the nation-building effort.

On Mr Heng's decision, Mr Singh said: "We wish DPM Heng and his family well, and the best of health."

Mr Heng will continue to serve as DPM and Coordinating Minister for Economic Policies, as well as chairman of the National Research Foundation under the Prime Minister's Office.

But he will relinquish his portfolio as finance minister in a Cabinet reshuffle that will happen in about two weeks' time.

Mr Singh said: "Like many Singaporeans, we await the forthcoming cabinet changes, and the 4G PAP leadership's next choice for PM."

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