August 22, 2017

Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew resigns

Ok 56 years in Parliament is long enough - I resign.

Singapore’s founding father Lee Kuan Yew and former prime minister Goh Chok Tong have resigned from the country’s cabinet, passing on leadership to Lee’s son, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

The move is in response to their People’s Action Party’s worst election result since 1965. They srill retained power but with only 60 percent of the vote, down from 75 percent in 2001.

Mr Lee and Mr Goh said in their joint resignation statement that the “time has come for a younger generation”.

The 87-year old Mr Lee was prime minister from 1959 to 1990, after which Mr Goh took over until 2004.

Mr Lee had been known as minister mentor, while Mr Goh was senior minister since 2004. Both won parliament seats in the country’s latest general election on 7 May.

But in their joint statement, Mr Lee and Mr Goh said the current prime minister and his team “should have a fresh clean slate. The time has come for a younger generation to carry Singapore forward in a more difficult and complex situation,” they said.

Current Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong is now Singapore’s most senior figure.

Singapore is small but wealthy. The People’s Action Party has ruled it since since independence in 1965.

The opposition Workers’ Party won six seats, the most the opposition has held since independence in 1965.

The reason behind the decline in the People’s Action Party’s popularity is rising housing prices and an influx of foreign workers. This has put the economic squeeze on poorer Singaporeans’.