I almost dismissed this story, MPs endorse DPM Lee as next PM, as yet more pap from the Straits Times, especially with the opening paragraph:
In a precedent-setting move, People’s Action Party (PAP) Members of Parliament have given their unanimous support of the ministers’ choice of Deputy Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong as their next Prime Minister.
Why is this news, I thought. Everyone knows that Lee Hsien Loong is going to be the next prime minister, it’s been pretty much set in stone for at least as long as I’ve been alive.
Here is what makes it worth printing:
Although there was only one name put up and MPs ‘unanimously supported’ the choice, as the party statement said, the MPs were pleased with the process.
They said it gave them the chance to participate and gain a sense of ‘ownership’ over the selection process. Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC MP Charles Chong said that a leader selected by MPs as well as ministers ‘has more legitimacy’.
It may be Singapore-style ‘democracy’, where the conclusion is foregone, but I think it’s hopeful. If people feel their opinions are more likely to be heard, more people may be willing to venture them. It’s a long way in the future, but something is better than nothing.