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Leadership of Singapore must not become aged, and renewal is key: DPM Teo Chee Hean

THERE is a certain vitality and energy needed to lead a country, and the leadership of the country must not become aged, said Deputy Prime Minister Teo Che Hean on Monday.

"You don't want a whole nation to be held hostage by the health of a cohort of people who are already senior and are getting more and more senior with each passing year, so you need leadership renewal," he added at the Singapore Perspectives 2018 conference organised by the Institute of Policy Studies.

He was answering a question by a member of the audience who wanted to know if there could be a larger representation of older people in the Cabinet and the Civil Service so that there are more policymakers who can represent the point of view of older people in Singapore as the country ages.

Mr Teo, who is also minister-in-charge of the civil service, acknowledged that it would be useful to have some "more senior" members in Cabinet to ensure continuity.

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In fact, he said, this was one of the unique features of Singapore's political system, and former prime ministers have remained in Cabinet as senior ministers and mentor minister after stepping down.

This had been beneficial for younger members of the Cabinet in the past, he said of his own experience, adding that he hoped the younger leadership would also see the usefulness and benefits of such an arrangement.

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