Mr Tharman’s letter to Mr Lee:

Dear Prime Minister,

Thank you for your letter of 13 May 2024 informing me that you and your government intend to resign on 15 May 2024. In my judgment, concurring with your advice, Mr Lawrence Wong is the Member of Parliament who commands the confidence of the majority of the Members of Parliament. I intend to appoint him as Prime Minister on 15 May 2024, and will invite him to form the next government.

On behalf of all Singaporeans, I thank you for your four decades of selfless service in government, including 20 years as our Prime Minister. You advanced a vibrant and more diversified economy. You opened new pathways of opportunity for Singaporeans, improved life for every segment of society and strengthened our social safety nets. You transformed our living environment, and set us on a path towards climate sustainability. And you have earned Singapore a unique standing in the world, with a voice of reason and a principled commitment to the international rule of law and the global good.

Your tenure as Prime Minister was marked by the crises which shook the world, in particular the 2008 Financial Crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic. You gave our people the confidence to see through each crisis, while staying united. You steered a nation to emerge not just intact but stronger and more resilient.

Your approach to governance has always been to accept differences, find ways to bridge them, and strengthen the common ground. Today, Singapore stands as an open yet cohesive society, even as global trends have moved otherwise. You have also spent years mentoring the generation of leaders, and ensured a smooth and orderly transition of political leadership.

Your sense of duty and integrity, wisdom and compassion, have set a high standard, and will inspire those who follow.

I note that Mr Lawrence Wong intends to appoint you as Senior Minister. Your experience and advice will I am sure benefit the new leadership team as they chart the next phase of our history and make an even better Singapore.


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