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Bloomberg columnist: Singapore is facing a dangerous world without PM Lee

As Singapore’s state media cheers for Lawrence Wong’s premiership, a Bloomberg columnist cautions of uncharted territory post-PM LHL. Despite Wong’s social media popularity for guitar skills, she doubts its ability to aid his premiership duties.



On Monday (15 April), Singapore’s Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) officially announced Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s decision to step down, with Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong poised to take over on 15 May 2024.

Over the past few days, Singapore’s state media has provided extensive coverage of the city-state’s leadership succession, featuring analyses and expert opinions that commend Wong for his ‘compassionate,’ ‘data-driven,’ and ‘consultative’ approach.

However, in an opinion piece for Bloomberg, columnist Karishma Vaswani cautioned that Singapore is entering uncharted territory following PM Lee’s departure.

She warned that the global landscape Singapore faces could be more precarious than ever before, and emphasized that Mr Wong will need to bring fresh ideas, wisdom, and experience to effectively lead the country.

The columnist who covers Asia politics with a special focus on China, suggested that Singapore’s new PM will have to deal with an increasingly acrimonious relationship between the US and China and the importance of delicately managing relations between the two powers.

Wong’s guitar skills unlikely to aid his premiership duties

Vaswani suggested that while Wong is known for being sincere and hardworking, he will need more than that to handle diplomatic challenges effectively.

Interestingly, Vaswani quotes Ian Chong, a non-resident scholar at Carnegie China and a political scientist at the National University of Singapore, who remarks on Wong’s lack of a clear political vision.

“We know the hobbies of the new prime minister, but we don’t know what he has planned for the country.”

“It’s a bit strange that the person taking over, and has had ample time to lay out a path, has yet to do so. Perhaps what that tells is you that no one in the government knows yet,” said Ian Chong.

Ms Vaswani acknowledged Wong’s popularity on social media due to his guitar skills but suggests that such talents are unlikely to prove useful in his new role as prime minister.

However, Ms Vaswani predicts that akin to his father late Lee Kuan Yew, PM Lee may continue to serve in Wong’s cabinet, contributing his knowledge, expertise, and global relationships.

Furthermore, she urged Wong to remain receptive to fresh ideas, not only from his own political party but also from opposition leaders like Pritam Singh of the Workers’ Party, who have proposed innovative solutions to address pressing domestic issues such as the income gap and gender disparities in the workplace.

Ms Vaswani concludes by noting Singapore’s history of overcoming challenges and standing out as a small yet resilient nation.

She implied that Wong must continue this legacy but acknowledges the enormity of the task ahead, “the new leader has big shoes to fill.”

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The premise of the article is itself strange. The world has been an unforgiving place for quite some time. Whether the leadership of LHL made it safer or worse for Singapore is still open to interpretation. All the prosperity indices, wealth or military hardware can and should never mask the fact that we are a small nation with a short history, living in a society that has fault lines along economic inequalities, class privileges and some residual racial insecurities. Taking open positions or commenting on the disputes of larger powers may not be in our interests. Supressing rather than addressing… Read more »

had been leeching on nation appointing own clan members trojans stealing pension$ ======================= personally branded as Chinese whisperer helps? Trying to out flank China helps? No. No FDI expected under same if not earning off you ======================= bring huge numbers of unneeded immi in to win votes, steal welfare, pension$, prevent checks on corruption, Not to augment Sgpn wealth redistribute from middle to wealthy (opposite of other countries) no wealth growth Not earning foreign income to grow wealth Be sure ALL get welfare, $2K/mth pension$ No what nonsense 3 or 4 different levels Only 50 years plan over already Prolonged… Read more »

To a certain extend, this is brought upon by LKY. He knows lhl abilities and could not bear to have anyone threatening his own son. So those currently left in parliament naturally cannot match lhl competence. The ability to play musical instrument is not a pm credential so it is no wonder there are doubts.

yah dangerous when our HDB flats are running to zero years. tsk tsk tsk

When I read the above article “Singapore is entering uncharted territory following PM Lee’s departure.”, first came to mind was so fast, when and where the wake will be held. The committee must be lead by our cotton from sheep General as he can boast that he had prior experience.

Was the writer a Singaporean or was she trying to interfere into our local politics to instill fear prior GE with Pappy blessing?


He the lousy stateman is the One responsible for creating this dangerous world by putting groups and pitting them to fight. Of cos he dun do it alone seeking like-minded from east west north south. He is unwilling to go becos he is winning. Horrible leader and stateman. Those who say otherwise is becos they gain from his greed!!!!

This succession thingy is a farce lah

Why bother? Let looony continues until put inside box. Die die he’s not willing to let go

Ah wong is better off playing guitar coz he’ll end up,as a puppet after all

cotton and pineapple lovers will miss. tsk tsk tsk

Did Singaporeans prosper or boom? If so then why more than 2m getting handouts? bloom blur

A fresh graduate attempting to fill an old fox shoes.

He, like all his predecessors, does not see the big picture of a world under the “reign of peace”. His vision will still be a microscopic parasitic little business empire(self serving and for the rich)  who punches above his ego/intellect, wields the legal stick or a sledge hammer  and beat up anyone who dare stands in his way.  He does it better than Xi, Biden and Netanyahu because  of his insecurity and cowardliness in a region/world dominated  by religion.  But rich, carry a big stick and talk sermon. A lot of sense to a lot of people simply because it is good for business.

Perhaps shes confusing LHL with LKY..?

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All LW has to do is take the solutions offered by the Opposition and implement it in terms of the population. Globally be as neutral as possible. Open our ports to all paying countries and try to stay away from the West. Tell himself that an invitation from the Americans or the British is not a win. There is no need for accolades from the West. We are good as Asians.

With or without PM Lee, Singapore will be facing a dangerous world. But yes, I agree Lawrence Wrong is not the ideal replacement candidate. But unfortunately for Singapore, NONE of the 4G are “ideal”.

Yah sure. Self Created Narrative when they are the threats as they fit into all the moulds they created to project the threats …

And so to ensure their continuity as leadership. No???

Laolan is silly goat to accept and take on the hot seat now filled with full loadof sh%t left behind by his predecessor. Heng sweet cake is the smarter one who stay on the sideline and continues to collect $m.

Come ge when more grc are lost and or pressing issues like runaway costs of living; housing shortage, not enough jobs, still unsolved by then, laolan would have to answer and shoulder the blame for these failures.

Who knows? Pinky would then ‘”seize” back the throne and gallop in as the white knight.

What do you think?

Well, even if its true….he pays himself a mil$ salary. So he damn well be responsible for wat happens to SG under his leadership..
Anyway he has 80 plus ministars , etc etc to hold his hand …so its not fair to accord him all the credit.

There you have it, the epitome of FAILED LEADERSHIP. If a leader is good, then he would have handed over to his/her successor a structure facing (perhaps) an uncertain but not a dangerous world. Yet we now have the highest paid PM handing over a shaky SG over to Wong – sia suay or not? Were Singaporeans short-changed? Scammed?

LW has big shoes to fill because Kayu Son made a mess of things, or didn’t clean up what Ah Goh had passed over to him. Can’t even settle a quarrel with his own siblings, hor.

There will always be differing views put forth by foreign journalists and what have you. They will always link S’pore to LKY to its progress in entirety. LKY did what was needed for S’pore’s survival in its formative years following its expulsion from Malaysia and the very present communist from within among its citizens. However, following the 2G onwards, the political landscape began to change and morphed gradually to almost neo-feudalism style today IMHO. Things are done and policies/constituion changed to suit their retention of power. It’s time to discard the broken record syndrome of LKY and the formative years.… Read more »

Hello, no one is indispensable.

Don’t paint lhl as some of deity like figure. Without him, everything is going to fall apart.

Sinkieland went alright without old man.

Maybe this journalist give Pinky and Jinx threesome before that’s why laud him like her cow god.
We actually happy getting rid of rubbish but this CB thinks it’s dangerous without the Ah Gua?
What has he achieved? More suicides, Costs are up, POFMA, all negative crap.

I thought it’s the opposite? His brother whole family left SG in a haste because Hsien Yang felt dangerous to be in SG

Sure or not?

Why don’t let the water course through first and let the drift wood n dead wood blocking the path get removed.

It’s better to reduce their numbers game so that they cannot anyhow pass laws to catch you such as Pofma! Or refer you to the privilege committee.

Shyun Tsai, be your own man. Show the world what you can do to sit on that dragon chair, besides figuring your guitar.

Uncle gives you iron clad support leh.

Jia yu!

As expected from a former BBC “journalist.” A fluff piece with minimal substance and devoid of any semblance of understanding of Singapore’s political landscape. The world has always been dangerous. PM Lee clinging to the same old policies did not help. It is also laughable to suggest that Lawrence Wong will bring any new ideas. I wish that was the case, but the ruling party has long since become a cadre of yes-men. If this “Journalist” does not understand this, then it is best not to write about Singapore. My guess is that the new premiership and his cabinet will… Read more »

lw should play guitar alongside Taylor Swift

Other than visiting religious organization

President of Vatican visit , you only supporting role ?

Tong Tong Qiang .

What a waste


It’s the WAYS, the METHODS how Lee fraud, and misrepresent to Singaporeans vs. Lawless Wong. Both are NOT STRAIGHT in their own rights. Both are passing lives by, by taking Singaporeans for a ride, and ONLY WHEN VOTES matter, their con jobs rose sky high, and they flatter, BOTH themselves and sheeps, in Singapore sheepyards.

Both WOULD CERTAINLY throw smokes, MIS USE POLICE FORCE, Judiciary, POFMA, FICA for their own HEGEMONIC aims.


Last edited 1 month ago by the trishaw