“Throughout my life, I have never hankered for post, position or power… So I have never gone out looking for additional work, but somehow the work finds me,” Finance Minister Lawrence Wong said.
He gave the example of the pandemic which started 2 years ago when he was Minister for National Development.
“DPM called me out of the blue. He asked, have you heard about the virus in Wuhan, and before I knew it, I was co-chairing the MTF Taskforce with Gan Kim Yong,” he said.
Mr Wong has been in public service for at least 25 years. In that time, his duties and responsibilities have kept on growing, he said.
Throughout his life, he has never hankered for post, position or power. “I’ve always been realistic about my own abilities and strengths,” he said.
His philosophy in life, instilled by his parents since young, is that whatever task he is assigned, he will give of his best. “If my best falls short – as it surely will from time to time – I try to learn, and I strive to improve, and do better,” said Mr Wong.
As the chosen leader of the 4G Team, Mr Wong said, ” I will be taking on what would possibly be the biggest responsibility of my life. I am under no illusions about the demands of the job. It will get more challenging with
greater political contestation and a growing desire for diversity in Parliament.”
“Political leadership,” Mr Wong emphasized, “is never about one person. It has always been about the entire team. Even a giant like Mr Lee Kuan Yew had a team. The same was true for Mr Goh Chok Tong and now PM Lee – he has SM Teo, SM Tharman and many others.”
“So much more the case will be with me, I need each and every one of the 4G team – the Ministers, the SMSs, the MOSs, the Parliament Secretaries and the MPs,” he added.
The past 2 years of working together fighting COVID-19 has gelled the team and brought them closer together.
“I believe we have strengthened our bonds with Singaporeans too, through this crisis of a generation, and the bonds among Singaporeans have also been strengthened by the crisis,” said Mr Wong. “In some societies, the crisis depleted social capital and weakened political trust. In Singapore, I think we have dealt with the crisis in such a way as to add to our social capital and strengthen political trust, and I am very grateful for that.”
“I look forward to bringing in more people to join our cause to contribute in different ways and help strengthen our team. And of course, I will continue to benefit from the advice and guidance of our seniors, especially PM and our two SMs. I look forward to working closely with everyone to take the PAP and Singapore forward and to earn the trust and support of each and every Singaporean.”