Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat is expected to be named as the PAP’s first assistant secretary tomorrow, with Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing expected to be named second assistant secretary-general.
This is according to local state media agency, Today, which reported that the impending appointments were confirmed by “a senior party leader and several cadres”.
If so, Mr Heng’s appointment will almost certainly make him the successor to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
The first assistant secretary-general is expected to go on to take over PM Lee as the PAP’s secretary-general, as well as the government’s Prime Minister after the next General Election, due by April 2021 but expected to be held in 2019.
According to Today, Mr Heng was chosen because the committee felt he “can rally the ground” and is the “first among equals”. He added that many of the 4G leaders had decided Mr Heng shall be the top leader among them even before the CEC elections,
PM Lee will chair a press conference to announce the PAP’s central executive committee line-up tomorrow.
Besides Today, Chinese state media daily Lianhe Zaobao also reported that Mr Heng was likely to be appointed as the PAP’s first assistant secretary-general based on “various indications”.
The 57-year-old was reportedly chosen because of his “humility” and “brilliance”.
This latest report is one of those “heng ah” moments for many Singaporeans who prefer Mr Heng to Maj-Gen Chan for the PM post.
The two men are considered the only candidates in the running for the post.