Is Chan Chun Sing Singapore's next PM?

Is Mr Chan Chun Sing set to be Singapore's next Prime Minister?

A Straits Times special report today detailed his list of accomplishments to date which, the paper said, has fuelled talks that he is the frontrunner to become the next prime minister.

This list includes being a President's Scholar at 18, Chief of Army at 40, and being one of the youngest ministers to be appointed to cabinet at 42.

According to the report, observers say that his performance as the Acting Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports (MCYS) has been promising as well. Some of his recent MCYS plans benefit the elderly and disabled as well as in improving the childcare sector.

The Straits Times reported that Mr Chan says "he wants to make the social service sector more effective, and to achieve economies of scale while maintaining its 'personal touch'".

Should he be the next PM, he will still have a lot to learn. As he admitted himself, he still needs to work on his public communication, as evidenced by an 'army-style' speech he gave at a PAP event in April. This earned him some derision from netizens.

Mr Chan himself, however, is loathe to proclaim that he is the anointed one.

'Times or circumstances change and you never know what sort of leaders you need. The PAP's job is to groom a group of leaders that is cohesive and when the times change, you have one of them with the necessary skill set and the rest are there to support,' he says in The Straits Times. 'No point anointing a crown prince and the rest of the team are not there.'

His background

Education

1982 - 1985: Educated at the Raffles Institution
1986 - 1987: Educated at Raffles Junior College
1988: Awarded the SAF (Overseas) and President's Scholarship to study Economics at Christ's College, Cambridge University, UK.

Military career

1987: Began military career
1998 - 2000: Commanding Officer, 2nd Battalion, Singapore Infantry Regiment
2001 - 2003: Army Attaché, Jakarta
2003 - 2004: Commander, 10th Singapore Infantry Brigade
2005 - 2007: Head, Joint Plans & Transformation Department
2007 - 2009: Commander, 9th Division/Chief Infantry Officer
2009 - 2010: Chief of Staff, Joint Staff
March 2010: Appointed Chief of Army

Political career

2011 General Election: Elected Member of Parliament for Tanjong Pagar GRC, representing the Buona Vista division.
May 2011: Appointed as Acting Minister for the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports.

Major-General (NS) Chan is also the Minister of State for the Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts.


ellenja@sph.com.sg


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