Lee Hsien Yang, the younger brother of Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, is considering running for the largely ceremonial role of president this year.
Speaking to Bloomberg by phone, Hsien Yang, who has been in self-imposed exile in Europe, was quoted as saying:
"There is a view that depending on who they (referring to the People's Action Party) float, if I were to run they would be in serious trouble and could lose.
A lot of people have come to me. They really want me to run. It’s something I would consider."
"Singapore does not need another Lee"
This is not the first time Lee Hsien Yang has mulled running for public office.
In 2020, he joined the opposition Progress Singapore Party and teased Singaporeans for months with the idea of competing against his brother in elections in what critics called a publicity stunt.
He eventually backed down, stating on Facebook that "Singapore doesn't need another Lee."
“I have chosen not to stand for political office because I believe Singapore does not need another Lee,” Lee Hsien Yang said in a Facebook post on Tuesday, the deadline for candidates to register their intent to stand in the election.
Another publicity stunt by Lee Hsien Yang to teabag the Prime Minister?
Hsien Yang is currently under investigation by the police for giving false evidence in court.
Under the Presidential Elections Act, candidates must meet strict eligibility criteria to run for the presidency.
A potential candidate must also satisfy the committee that he or she is a person of “integrity, good character and reputation” to qualify.
And it's a requirement that is known to Hsien Yang.
Netizens were quick to point out that this is likely just another publicity stunt by Hsien Yang, one which was succintly summarised by former Nominated Member of Parliament Calvin Cheng:
I fully expect him to announce he will run, because he knows he doesn’t qualify anyway.
But it will cause maximum political damage to the Government by announcing he is interested, applying, and then being told he doesn’t qualify.
In other words, Hsien Yang is looking to teabag his brother Lee Hsien Loong, also the current Prime Minister of Singapore.