Who’s in and Who’s out of the CEC?
In the biennial PAP conference held at the Singapore Expo on November 11th, approximately 2,000 party cadres gathered to vote for candidate that would form the PAP’s next Central Executive Committee (CEC). The CEC is the party’s highest decision-making body and mainly consists of cabinet ministers. The CEC election saw five senior party leaders stepping down from the party’s high-ranking positions to allow for the new 4G leadership to take on heavier responsibilities within the party and the government.
The five senior leaders who stepped down from the CEC are: first assistant secretary-general, Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean; second assistant secretary-general, Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam; party chairman, Coordinating minister for Infrastructure and Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan; party vice-chairman Yaacob Ibrahim, and treasurer Lim Swee Say.
The Incumbent CEC members are Lee Hsien Loong, K. Shanmugam, Gan Kim Yong, Chan Chun Sing, Ong Ye Kung, Grace Fu, Heng Swee Keat, Tan Chuan-Jin, Vivian Balakrishnan, and Masagos Zulkifli. The newly elected CEC members were Indranee Rajah and Ng Chee Meng. The newly elected CEC also included Dr Ng En Heng and Josephine Teo into the committee, even though they held the 13th and 14th highest votes below 12 elected CEC members.
What does it all mean?
The results of the CEC election contain a mixture of 3G and 4G leaders, indicating how the PAP is currently in the midst of a leadership transition. As more 4G leaders take up positions with greater responsibilities, old guards of the PAP such as Mr Lee and Mr Shanmugam remain in the CEC to hold the party together using their extensive experience and knowledge. The first assistant secretary-general of the CEC is a key position as it strongly suggests who will succeed Lee Hsien Loong as Singapore’s 4th Prime Minister. Political pundits expect one of the three frontrunners, Chan Chun Sing, Heng Swee Keat, and Ong Ye Kung to assume the assistant-secretary general post. Regardless, we will only find out who would be Singapore’s next Prime Minister in a few weeks to come as the newly elected CEC determines its office bearers.
(Photo taken by Jeremy Long, no copyright infringement is intended)