• | 12:30 pm

Lawrence Wong takes charge as Singapore’s fourth Prime Minister

Wong, 51, who has served as finance minister and deputy prime minister, is the first Singaporean premier born after its independence in 1965

Lawrence Wong takes charge as Singapore’s fourth Prime Minister
[Source photo: X]

Lawrence Wong was on Wednesday sworn in as Singapore’s prime minister, the fourth since the city-state’s independence in 1965. 

“We understand the vital importance of good leadership, political stability and long-term planning. We ourselves are the beneficiaries of the imaginative policies of our founding fathers, pursued resolutely and patiently over decades,” Wong said in his inauguration speech.

Wong, 51, who served as the finance minister and the deputy prime minister, is the first Singaporean premier born after its independence. 

“Our leadership style will differ from that of previous generations. We will lead our own way. We will continue to think boldly and to think far,” Wong said. 

He takes over from Lee Hsien Loong, who served as prime minister since 2004. 

The 72-year-old will remain in Wong’s cabinet as senior minister, as has been a tradition in Singapore’s politics.

Loong is the son of Lee Kuan Yew, the founder of modern Singapore who served as prime minister till 1990. He, however, stayed in politics till his death in 2015. 

Wong will retain his position as finance minister and will be in-charge of the economy. 

I’m honoured to be sworn in as the 4th PM of Singapore. Join me and my team in our journey forward. Everyone will have a stake in our nation’s progress & play a key role in shaping our future. Let us unite with common purpose and shared resolve. Let us take SG Forward – Together,” Wong said in a tweet. 

“This is my promise to all Singaporeans: I will serve you with all my heart, and always strive to make tomorrow better than today.  My mission is clear: to continue defying the odds and to sustain this miracle called Singapore,” he added. 

Who is Wong?

A former civil servant, Wong  started his career as an economist, and held positions across government ministries, including as chief executive officer (CEO) of the Energy Market Authority.

He was first elected as a Member of Parliament (MP) in 2011, and has been re-elected twice, most recently as MP from the Marsiling-Yew Tee Group representation constituency. 

Before assuming charge as the minister for finance in May 2021, he held ministerial appointments in the ministry of culture, community and youth, the ministry of national development, and the ministry of education. 

He gained prominence as the co-chair of the multi-ministry task force that oversaw the Singapore government’s response to the covid-19 pandemic.

In April 2022, Wong was selected as the leader of the ruling People’s Action Party’s (PAP’s) so-called 4G team, a group of a new generation of politicians who were groomed to take over the leadership of the country. 

In a 6 June 2022 cabinet reshuffle, Wong was promoted to the position of deputy prime minister. As deputy PM, Wong launched the “Forward Singapore” movement, a nationwide exercise to provide a roadmap for Singapore’s next stage of development, and to refresh and strengthen the country’s social compact. 

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