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Jakarta Post

Singapore’s succession plot

  • Editorial board


Jakarta   /   Mon, July 13 2020   /  01:00 am
Voters wearing face masks wait to enter a school, temporarily used as a polling station, to cast their ballots during the general election in Singapore on July 10, 2020. - Wearing masks and gloves and being careful to observe social distancing, Singaporeans voted in a general election on July 10 as the city-state struggles to recover from a coronavirus outbreak. (AFP/Roslan Rahman )

Not only have the results of the July 10 general election disappointed Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, they could also spell trouble for Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat. The 58-year old People’s Action Party (PAP) politician won his parliamentary seat at the East Coast district, albeit with a relatively close margin. The PAP still retains the majority at the Parliament, but Friday’s election marked the worst performance of the ruling party since 2011 when it won 60.1 percent of the vote. This time around, the PAP secured support from 61.2 percent of 2.65 million voters. For Indonesia, the region and the world, the most pressing question is not only how this could happen but also how it will impact Singapore’s succession. Many perceived the election on Friday as a referendum for Lee’s leadership, especially in ha...