Who is Lawrence Wong? Singapore’s first new PM in 20 years

Wong held the first cabinet meeting after taking charge as PM on Thursday

Singapore's Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong is sworn in as Singapore's fourth Prime Minister at the Istana | Reuters Singapore's Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong is sworn in as Singapore's fourth Prime Minister at the Istana | Reuters

Singapore's Prime Minister Lawrence Wong on Thursday held an initial cabinet meeting after assuming office. Wong is Singapore's first new PM in 20 years. 

After being sworn in on Wednesday, Wong posted on Instagram that the government of the Asian trade and financial centre had "a full agenda ahead". 

Wong, 51, took over as Singapore's fourth prime minister from Lee Hsien Loong, 72, now a senior minister in Wong's cabinet. An economist-turned-politician, he pledged to "lead the way" for a better tomorrow. 

Wong belongs to the new generation of politicians that were specially chosen by the People's Action Party (PAP) and it is credited for ruling the country for a long time. 

Born in 1965, Wong is an ardent fan of Roger Federer and loves to play guitar during his free time. He has a master's degree in Economics from the University of Michigan. 

The rise of Wong came after the anointed successor of Long, Heng Swee Keat ruled himself out of the race. He was first appointed as co-chair of the Covid pandemic task force. Wong was announced as the successor of Long in April 2022. After this, he was appointed as deputy prime minister. By addressing the issues of employment, equality and sustainability, he gained experience.

While quoting Wong, The Straits Times report said, "The focus now needs to be on uniting the country in the face of global uncertainties with the aim of leaving no one behind in the pursuit of progress.”

During Wong's inaugural speech, he said that the world was in flux and geopolitical tensions, protectionism and nationalism could stretch for decades. 

Wong said Singapore sought to be "friends with all while upholding our rights and interests"."My mission is clear: to continue defying the odds and to sustain this miracle called Singapore," he added.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the US is looking forward to working with Wong "to further strengthen the U.S.-Singapore strategic

partnership". Even China said that under his leadership, the country is looking forward to boosting China-Singapore relations. 

Taiwan's foreign ministry said ties between Taiwan and Singapore are close and friendly, adding it hoped "the two sides will continue to expand their cooperative relations". UK PM Rishi Sunak also congratulated Wong and said the relationship between the UK and Singapore "will continue to thrive in the years to come".


Join our WhatsApp Channel to get the latest news, exclusives and videos on WhatsApp