A joint statement to quit the cabinet
MM and SM are thinking more alike, it seems. Both decided to quit the cabinet to let a younger team of ministers led by a nearly 60 year old PM to start with a clean slate. Relatively, a young team was when LKY became a PM at 35, I think. Now that was a young team. At 60, many were grandfathers and have long forgotten about pacifiers and could hardly be considered young anymore. It’s better late than never. My original take was that both LKY and Chok Tong would not even contest the GE. I think LKY wanted to do that long ago, but for obvious reason, unable to let him go solo. Just before the GE, Hsien Loong was quoted to have said that both LKY and Chok Tong would be his advisers, a role that could make his job much easier, but also made him a PM under watch, with two yodas breathing down his neck. With Chok Tong still wanting to stay in politics, LKY too had to be around. It is either both quit or both stay. Chok Tong has proven to be quite a persistent stayer so far. And for him to quit the cabinet is the best that could be gotten. Now LKY can be more at ease as both are now MPs and should not be in the thick of decision making. The next move would likely be another joint statement that both would step down as MP. As precedence had been set, there would not be a need for a by election, and the govt will still be an absolute majority in Parliament, without rocking the boat. Only then would everyone be at ease, that a new era has dawn and the PAP’s internal struggle for power has a clear winner.