SINGAPORE Minister for Transport Lui Tuck Yew has stepped forward to say he would not contest in the coming general election.
In a letter to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Mr Lui confirmed his decision to step down from politics.
The letter revealed that he first wanted to quit early this year, but was told by Mr Lee and several senior Cabinet members to rethink it.
"You reminded me that the responsibility of Government was a collective one, and no minister carried difficult problems like public transport alone," Mr Lui said in the letter. "But having thought the matter over carefully, I have decided that I should stand by my original decision."
Mr Lee replied in his letter that he reluctantly accepted Mr Lui's decision. He said he's disappointed that he failed to change Mr Lui's mind.
"You have done good work as Minister for Transport," Mr Lee said. And the public transport system has made significant progress over the last four years under Mr Lui's watch, though the job is not yet complete, he said.
"My senior colleagues share my view that you have more to contribute, both in transport and in other areas in government," Mr Lee added.
Both letters were released to the press on Tuesday.
Mr Lui indicated in his letter that Mr Lee intended to re-appoint him as a Cabinet minister, if he was re-elected in the coming general election.
"But the general election also provides an opportunity for me to step back from politics without causing any major disruption to government at the end of its term," Mr Lui said. "You are also bringing in new potential office holders to strengthen Cabinet."
Mr Lui, who has been Singapore's Chief of Navy, was recruited by the ruling People's Action Party and elected as a Member of Parliament in 2006.
Before he became Transport Minister, Mr Lui was Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts from 2010 to 2011. He has also served in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Defence.
Mr Lui will remain as Transport Minister until after the general election when a new minister is appointed.