At 6 p.m. local time on April 8, the Singapore government held a press conference in the presidential palace and announced that the government would be restructured in two weeks.
At that time, Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Economic Policy Coordination and Finance, Wang Ruijie will no longer be the leader of the fourth generation leadership team of the ruling People’s Action Party.
Wang Ruijie announced at the press conference that for reasons of age and health, he wrote to Premier Lee Hsien Loong to say that he would no longer be the leader of the fourth generation team.
He will step down as Finance Minister when the cabinet is reshuffled two weeks later.
Li Xianlong expressed understanding and respect for Wang Ruijie’s decision. He appreciated Wang Ruijie’s outstanding performance as Finance Minister. He also expressed relief for Wang Ruijie’s decision to continue to serve as Vice Premier and Minister of Economic Coordination.
Lee Hsien Loong said he believed that Wang Ruijie would next assist the fourth generation leadership team with two senior state affairs senior ministers, former vice premiers Zhang Zhixian and Shang Daman to ensure a smooth handover of national political leadership.
On November 23, 2018, the People’s Action Party of Singapore officially elected Wang Rui as the First Assistant Secretary-General, and Chen Zhensheng, Minister of Trade and Industry, became his deputy and served as the second assistant secretary-general.
On the same day, the fourth generation of leadership team issued a statement, seconding and supporting Finance Ministers Wang Ruijie and Chen Zhensheng as their leadership.
On May 1, 2019, Wang Ruijie was promoted to Vice Premier, and two former Vice Premiers Zhang Zhixian and Shang Daman stepped down, making Wang Ruijie the only Vice Premier of Singapore.
It is generally believed that there is no suspense that Wang Ruijie will become the next premier.
The press conference included Singapore’s Minister of Trade and Industry Chen Zhensheng, Minister of Education Huang Xuncai, Minister of Transport Wang Yikang and Minister of National Development Li Zhisheng and other fourth-generation leadership members attended the press conference.
They unanimously asked Premier Lee Hsien Loong to continue to lead the country out of the haze of the coronavirus epidemic.
Singapore became the Republic of Singapore in 1965. There have been three prime ministers, Lee Kuan Yew, Wu Zuodong and Lee Hsien Loong. Lee Hsien Loong, 69, has repeatedly said that he wants to step down as Prime Minister before he is 70 years old.
But in light of the pandemic, Lee Hsien Loong said last year when announcing the new cabinet that his goal is to lead the country out of the crisis and hand over intact and functioning Singapore to the next leader.