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Outstanding leaders needed to keep Singapore exceptional: PM Lee

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Leadership renewal is the most important issue for Singapore at the next general election, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Friday.

Leadership renewal is the most important issue for Singapore at the next general election, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Friday.

Speaking at the annual May Day Rally, he said it was important to bring in enough new people who were committed to the country in order to keep Singapore exceptional. The next election must be held by January 2017.

The new team must be of "high ability, strong character, dedication and gumption" so that Singapore will remain special, he told more than 4,000 people at The Star Performing Arts Centre in Buona Vista.

'So I need your help. Give me and my team your support, so that after the next election, well before the election after the next, a younger team will be ready to lead us forward," said Mr Lee, who is also the secretary-general of the ruling People's Action Party (PAP).

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The prime minister described his current Cabinet as a balanced one, with a mix of some ministers having over 20 years of experience and fresher ones who came on board in the last election in 2011.

"They have mastered their portfolios, learned about politics, gained the trust of Singaporeans," he said. "But we will grow old and we all need successors."

The task of recruiting more people to enter politics is "very hard to do", given that only a handful are suitable and even so, it is difficult to persuade them to come on board.

"I am still trying very hard, and I think I'll get a few more people enter and join politics and stand for election. But we can never have an 'A'-team for Singapore which is too strong," said Mr Lee.

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