SINGAPORE, May 13 — Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has informed President Tharman Shanmugaratnam of his intent to resign from office on Wednesday (May 15) and hand over the reins to Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong.

In a letter addressed to Tharman today, Lee said that his government will also resign on the same day.

Lee advised Tharman to invite Wong, “who commands the confidence of the majority of Members of Parliament (MPs)”, to form the next government.

Responding in a letter, Tharman said that he concurred with Lee’s advice and intends to appoint Wong as Prime Minister on Wednesday.

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The exchange of letters was released by the Prime Minister’s and President’s offices today.

According to a separate a press statement issued by the President’s Office today, Wong has accepted Tharman’s invitation to form the next government and has submitted to him a list of the proposed members of his government.

In his letter, Lee, who turned 72 in February, wrote that he had originally planned to hand over to a successor by the time he turned 70, but those plans had been disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

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“After the pandemic, we carried out a process to choose my successor.

“On 14 April 2022, the PAP MPs met and unanimously endorsed Lawrence Wong as the person to succeed me. Now, two years on, he is ready to lead Singapore.

“I now formally advise you to invite Lawrence Wong, who commands the confidence of the majority of Members of Parliament, to form the next government.”

In his response, Tharman thanked Lee for “four decades of selfless service in government” which included two decades as the nation’s Prime Minister.

Alongside creating a more diversified economy, Tharman credited Lee with setting the nation on a “path towards climate sustainability” and earning Singapore “a unique standing in the world”.

“Your tenure as Prime Minister was marked by crises which shook the world, in particular the 2008 Global Financial Crisis and the Covid-19 pandemic,” he wrote.

“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.”

Tharman also noted in his letter that Wong intends to appoint Lee as Senior Minister moving forward.

“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.”

In a separate letter addressed to Wong, who turns 52 in December, Tharman said that he has “every confidence that as Prime Minister, you will lead Singapore with honour and ensure the continued stability and vitality of our nation”.

Wong will receive his instrument of appointment and take his Oath of Allegiance and Oath of Due Execution of Office at the Istana on Wednesday. — TODAY