Speaking to the Straits Times, he said:
“I am shaping up in my mind someone who can be the leader amongst us. I am sure my colleagues are thinking of the same issue too.”
However, Ong stopped short of naming the candidate he would root for as Singapore’s next prime minister.
The 48-year-old is among the “hot trio” tipped to be the next ruler of the nation, next to Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office Maj-Gen Chan Chun Sing (aka Kee Chiu).
This comes as Singapore’s fourth-generation ministers endorsed a statement pledging to select a leader “in good time”.
“Political stability has been the hallmark of Singapore and smooth leadership succession has instilled confidence amongst Singaporeans and our friends around the world.
“The younger ministers are keenly aware that leadership succession is a pressing issue and that Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong intends to step down after the next General Elections. We are conscious of our responsibility, are working closely together as a team, and will settle on a leader from amongst us in good time.”
The statement was signed by 16 Cabinet ministers and office holders.
The 16, besides the trio are:
Senior Minister of State for Communication and Information and Health Chee Hong Tat, 44;
Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu, 53;
Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry and National Development Koh Poh Koon, 45;
Minister for Social and Family Desmond Lee, 41;
Minister for Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli, 54;
Minister for Education (Schools) Ng Chee Meng, 49;
Senior Minister of State for Communications and Information and Education Janil Puthucheary, 45;
Senior Minister of State for Finance and Law Indranee Rajah, 54;
Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry) S. Iswaran, 55;
Senior Minister of State for Culture, Community and Youth and Trade and Industry Sim Ann, 42;
Speaker of Parliament Tan Chuan-Jinm, 48;
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office Josephine Teo, 49; and
Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong, 45