Singapore PM Lee to step down in 2 years, hunt for successor on

Singpaore PM Lee confirmed in an interview that he was prepared to down in the next couple of years and the hunt for his successor is still on.

Singapore PM Lee
Singapore's PM Lee speaks during luncheon hosted by leaders of federations of economic organizations.. Reuters

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has hinted that he would step down from the office two years later and that his successor would be picked from the existing cabinet soon.

In an interview with CNBC on Friday, Oct. 20, Lee confirmed it when asked if he was prepared to down in the next couple of years. "I am ready," said Lee, and on his successor, he added:"there are people in the wings. The question is, who it will be and that will need to be decided... I think it's very likely that he would be in the cabinet already but which one, well that would take a while to, to account."

Lee, who was interviewed before his official visit to the United States starting Sunday, also hinted that the election could be called any time before the expiry of the current term of Singapore's parliament. Lee, 65, was a veteran government functionary since the days of his father and Singapore founder Kee Kuan Yew. He survived cancer twice.

Meanwhile, the names of Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat and Chan Chun Sing, a former army chief and a minister in the PMO, are making rounds as possible contenders to succeed Lee. Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, has denied in the past that he was in the race, reported Reuters.