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Singapore’s Lee Hsien Loong will hand over power to deputy Lawrence Wong on May 15

Wong, 51, who became deputy prime minister in 2022 after he was chosen by his peers to lead them, has not had the same length of apprenticeship as Lee or the latter’s predecessor, Goh Chok Tong.

A dark horse candidate who started his career as a civil servant, Wong was not the original choice to be Lee’s successor but came into his own when he made his mark as the co-leader of the government’s Covid-19 pandemic taskforce.

Wong will be sworn in at 8pm on May 15 at the Istana, a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office said on Monday. “DPM Wong has the unanimous support of the PAP MPs.”

In a statement on social media, Lee described the leadership transition as a “significant moment” adding that Wong and his team had “worked hard to gain the people’s trust, notably during the pandemic”.

Through the Forward Singapore exercise, a nationwide feedback exercise, they had also worked with many Singaporeans to “refresh our social compact and develop the national agenda for a new generation”, Lee added.

“The 4G team are committed to keeping Singapore working well and moving ahead. These will always be top priorities for the government,” he said, urging Singaporeans to give Wong and his team their full support.

In a video on Facebook addressed to Singaporeans, Wong said that he had never expected that he would one day be called upon to serve as the next prime minister.

“When I was invited to enter politics in 2011, I agreed because I wanted to contribute to the Singapore story. I did not expect then to be asked to serve as the next prime minister of Singapore,” he said, adding he would accept this with “humility and a deep sense of duty”.

“I pledge to give my all in this undertaking, every ounce of my energy shall be devoted to the