The decision by Heng Swee Keat to take himself out of the running to succeed Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has turned the spotlight on the so-called “4G” team which forms the top leadership of the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP).
At least four members of the 4G, whose name comes from their position as the fourth generation of the city-state’s political leaders, are said to be the favourites according to Singapore’s The Straits Times which often reflects the official views of the government.
The four are Chan Chun Sing, Ong Ye Kung, Lawrence Wong and Desmond Lee, who range in age from their mid-40s to early 50s.
At 51, Chan, a former chief of army, is the trade minister who is also in charge of public service. He is considered the most senior in rank.
Next comes his contemporary Ong, a former education minister and currently the transport minister.
Ong also served as an aide to PM Lee.
Wong, 48, is also a former aide to PM Lee and the current education minister who doubles as the second finance minister.
Having held positions in the defence, communications, national development and youth portfolios, he is also at the forefront of the government’s battle against the Covid-19 pandemic.
At 44, Lee is the youngest. He is currently the national development minister and in charge of a task force for post-pandemic economic recovery.