Lawrence Wong sworn in as fourth Prime Minister of Singapore

Lawrence Wong sworn in as fourth Prime Minister of Singapore
Prime Minister Lawrence Wong is sworn in.
PHOTO: Screengrab/Prime Minister's Office

DPM Lawrence Wong has been sworn in as the fourth prime minister of Singapore on Wednesday (May 15) evening.

This makes the first change of leadership in the Republic in 20 years.

Wong took the oath of allegiance and oath of due execution from Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon at the Istana.

At the swearing-in ceremony, President Tharman Shanmugaratnam said that Wong is taking over as Prime Minister in a "period of growing global fractiousness and big power contestation, and a weakening international order".

"Wong and his team… are well-placed to secure our national interests amid these unpredictable geopolitical currents and to help advance Asean unity," he said.

He also highlighted how those who have worked alongside Wong, in government and in the community, would know that he brings "convictions, life experiences and skills".

Recalling Wong's contributions in policymaking, the Labour Movement and as co-chair of the Covid-19 taskforce, Tharman also described Wong as being "calm and decisive" in the face of pressure.

"I have full confidence in Wong's ability to lead Singapore as we venture into uncharted waters internationally, and to rally Singaporeans from all walks of life to create the next chapter of the Singapore story together. 

"He will be his own person, with his own approach to building consensus and finding the best way forward for the country," President Tharman said.

"Singaporeans can be assured that our country is in good hands," he added. 

"Wong and his team will build on the strong foundations laid by previous Prime Ministers and governments and keep our little red dot shining ever more brightly. Our best years still lie ahead of us."

Members of Wong's Cabinet, including the newly appointed deputy prime minister Gan Kim Yong and Senior Minister Lee Hsien Loong, were also sworn in.

From economist to prime minister

Wong started as an economist at the Ministry of Trade and Industry in 1997. He later joined the Administrative Service in 2002 and was posted to the Finance Ministry.

The prime minister later entered politics in 2011 as the youngest of five candidates tipped to form the core of the PAP's 4G leadership.

He was elected a Member of Parliament as part of the West Coast GRC, before moving to Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC in 2015 where he still serves.

In 2020, Wong was selected to co-chair the Covid-19 multi-ministry taskforce, which oversaw the government's response to the pandemic. He would make his mark at media briefings for his clear and steady explanation of the various policies.

Wong was also Education Minister from July 2020 to May 2021. He became the Minister for Finance in 2021.

On April 15, 2024, then-prime minister Lee announced that Wong will be Singapore's fourth prime minister and will be sworn in a month later.

"I accept this responsibility with humility and a deep sense of duty," said Wong at that time. 

ALSO READ: From neighbourhood schoolboy to prime minister: A look at Lawrence Wong's rise through the ranks

chingshijie@asiaone.com

khooyihang@asiaone.com

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