DPM Lawrence Wong's Doorstop Interview (Apr 2024)

PM Lawrence Wong | 16 April 2024

Transcript of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Lawrence Wong’s opening remarks at the doorstop interview on 16 April 2024.


Let me start by thanking my Cabinet colleagues and fellow MPs for placing their confidence in me and choosing me to lead the team. I stand on the shoulders of giants, and one in particular stands out and that is Mr Lee Hsien Loong. He has done so much for Singapore especially in the last 20 years of leading our country.

During this period, our economy has grown tremendously, and Singaporeans have enjoyed steady improvements in their incomes and standard of living. We have weathered through many crises and emerged stronger each time. Our international standing has strengthened considerably, and the Singapore brand is admired and respected worldwide. On behalf of all Singaporeans, I thank Mr Lee Hsien Loong for his selfless service to our country and lasting contributions to Singapore.

The upcoming swearing-in ceremony on 15 May is not just for me; it is also for a new Cabinet. For this moment though, there should not be any major changes because our system works on the basis of continuity and progressive change. It has never been the case that when there is a leadership transition, all the older ministers stepped down at the same time. Instead, they continued to contribute in different ways while making room for the younger ones to step up.

I will adopt the same approach when I take over. In particular, I have asked Mr Lee Hsien Loong to continue serving in Cabinet as Senior Minister, and I am glad that he has agreed to do so. The other ministers will continue to serve in their respective portfolios. In fact, some of them were just appointed recently, so there is really no reason to change. I will also look at possible promotions as well as consider bringing in a few backbenchers to strengthen the team. I will share the details of the Cabinet lineup in a press conference a few days before the swearing-in ceremony.

The bigger changes to the Cabinet lineup will likely happen only after the next General Election. In fact, I am already in the midst of looking for new candidates, especially those with potential to hold political office. Depending on the outcome of the General Election, there will be an opportunity then to renew and strengthen the team with new members. This will be one of my key priorities, which is to form the best possible team to serve Singapore and Singaporeans.

Meanwhile, for the rest of this term of government, we already have a full agenda, to deal with concerns around the economy, jobs and cost of living, provide more assurance to seniors, families and other vulnerable groups in society, and to take concrete steps to realise our shared aspirations, which we have set out in the Forward Singapore report.

We made some big moves in this year's Budget, but as I had shared then, that it was just the first instalment of our Forward Singapore plans. There is still much more that needs to be done. I invite all Singaporeans to join me in this journey. We have many challenges to tackle, but also many opportunities to chart a new way forward for ourselves and our nation. So, work with me and my team. Let us write a new chapter for the Singapore story. Let us shape our future together.