Monday, May 16, 2011

Retirement of the SM & MM

A week after GE 2011 (General Elections), the aftermath is still ongoing. The latest news is that Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew and Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong are going to step down from the Cabinet.

Mr. Lee Kuan Yew and Mr. Goh Chok Tong are the first two Prime Ministers of Singapore and this would the first time since independence that Mr. Lee Kuan Yew is not in the Singapore Cabinet. Current Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong says the decision by both men is a "major event" for Singapore.

However if you speak to normal Singaporeans, most will greet the news with a shrug.

This however is not an affront to the two men. Most Singaporeans do not care about their retirement because the two men will still be Members of Parliament and well…Singaporeans have no idea what the Minister Mentor and Senior Minister currently do in the Cabinet. Both men had contributed greatly to the progress of Singapore, Mr. Lee Kuan Yew especially, but their retirement was a long time coming. The term Minister Mentor and Senior Minister were coined for Mr. Lee Kuan Yew after he decided to quit as Prime Minister but it was never defined what the positions are actually for.

In some ways, their retirement from the Cabinet is a passing of the baton in Singapore but the news is not as great or as important as former Foreign Affairs Minister George Yeo’s defeat in GE 2011. At least Singaporeans know what Mr. George Yeo actually do in the Singapore Cabinet.

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