Shoot, Shag, Marry: Future PM Edition
While last week saw plenty of talk about the “4G leadership”, we had a nagging suspicion that most Singaporeans aren’t actually taking the issue of our next PM that seriously. So we decided to lend a new perspective by asking some of our writers the questions that really matter. And whether or not you care about who these guys are, let’s just say that you’ll want to stay for the last question.

1.  What are your general feelings towards the 4G candidates?

Grace Yeoh, Senior Staff Writer:

If this were The Bachelorette, I would rather remain single for the rest of my life. And all I’ve seen of their personalities has been on social media, so I’m just going to judge accordingly.

Ong Ye Kung’s the most personable and down-to-earth. The other two make me feel as though I’m reading a model composition book or GP essay. Feels reassuring to know that you can have so much power, yet still be hopeless at social media.

Julian Wong, Associate Editor:

Nothing much, tbh. To me it’s clear who the next PM should be. And by now, the excuses and rhetoric that have been employed to explain why this isn’t possible just isn’t good enough anymore. Even if DPM Tharman does truly believe that he’s not the right person, it isn’t up to him anymore. The people have spoken. He (and the PAP) needs to listen.

Rachel Lau, Staff Writer:

How I feel about the 4G candidates, is actually pretty similar to how I feel about having 4G on my phone. They sell me this entire idea about 4G being supposedly better and more efficient but really, I get along great without it.

Besides, my 3G works just fine.

Benjamin Lim, Contributing Editor:

I wish Heng Swee Keat and Ong Ye Kung had more exposure to the public, then we’d have a better idea of who these men are and what they stand for. It’d be a bit unfair to say Chan Chun Sing is likeliest to get the job (or otherwise) because in all fairness he’s been in the media spotlight the most. And that is also probably due to his appointment as Secretary-General of NTUC.

Honestly, the nature of our politics, which is based on the British parliamentary system, makes this “PM race” more hyped than it should.

If ST’s Opinion Editor Chan Mui Hoong says that “no one person will decide the fate of Singapore”, then why don’t we have all three ministers take football penalty kicks; first to five goals wins. That would be Singapore’s Goal 2020, perhaps?

(Photo from Ong Ye Kung's Facebook page)
2. Who would you have dinner with?


Ong Ye Kung, my dude. Hands down. He strikes me as someone who would take his time to think through complex questions before answering them. This would also mean he’s not afraid of silence and giving someone space to think. As a dinner companion, this could really set the other party at ease.

More importantly, he has had lunch with Sumiko Tan. So I don’t see why Dinner with Grace Yeoh should not be a thing.


Chan Chun Sing, probably. The guy smiles so much it sorta creeps me out a little. There’s no way anyone is actually this cheerful or likeable. There has to be something going on with him that no one knows about.

If dinner is what it takes to find out what his deal is, then dinner it is.


Chan Chun Sing. Not only is there a gif of him tucking into a hearty bowl of Mee Rubus (a man after my own heart), but he also looks like the kind of person who would offer you a bite of his Mee Rubus if you stared at it long and hard enough.


That really depends on what’s for dinner, right?

Chan Chun Sing gives off a very friendly and casual vibe, so I’d go to a coffee shop to have zi char with him any day. Or even Mcdonald’s. I’m sure he’ll treat me to iced milo too.

Heng Swee Keat seems like a man with fine tastes. I can see myself discussing with him about the world economy over a fancy steak dinner and red wine. Though he would probably bore me with stats and numbers 10 minutes in.

But I think the ideal dinner date overall would be Ong Ye Kung. He may strike us as the quiet, introvert sort, but he also looks like the kind of guy who is very knowledgeable in a wide variety of topics and yet is in no rush to flaunt his intelligence.

Also, I suspect he may be quite handy in the kitchen himself; an apron would look good on him.

3. Who would you want to get smashed with?


Heng Swee Keat. He comes across as a soft-spoken fatherly figure. People like him are interesting to drink with because liquor can really loosen someone up. But he probably won’t drink much because of his stroke, so that leaves him sober enough to send me home and save me cab fare.


Heng Swee Keat of course! Just look at that guy. You know that friend who’s always like, “I don’t really drink,” but by the time they’re on their third drink he’s dragging you to some KTV and you end your night in some dodgy dim sum place talking about Lao Tzu and AI? Yeah, I’m sure he’s that kinda guy.


I can tell you who I won’t want to get smashed with: Heng Swee Keat, because he doesn’t look like someone who can hold his liquor well.

Then again, that could actually work in my favour. I imagine nothing better than a tipsy Minister for Finance spilling Singapore’s darkest trade secrets and advising me whether or not it’s a good time to invest in Bitcoin.


Heng Swee Keat. He seems like the kind of guy who will throw away his goody-two-shoes appearance after a few bottles of beer and describe to you impassionately the atrocious match that Liverpool played the night before, or convince you to pick up this new video game that he’s been playing all week. (Mr Heng, if you’re not a Liverpool fan, I sincerely apologise for my presumption)

Every drinking session with Mr Heng would be an opportunity to learn something new and fun about him. I would want that untapped energy on my beer pong team too.

(Photo from The Straits Times)
4. Who would you trust to look after your kids if you went on a 2 month holiday?


Not Heng Swee Keat because he seems like a workaholic. Might abandon my children in the kitchen with a boiling pot on the stove.

I’d probably go with Chan Chun Sing. He looks so earnest, as though he’s never done a single bad deed in his life. This is a good balance to my own lack of morals. In the two months, he’d probably teach my children more life skills and military type of discipline than I could impart in two decades. I’m hoping he’s good enough that I can just let him keep my children after that.


Chan Chun Sing. The guy looks like he would make a good Dad.


Ong Ye Kung for sure. He’s the Minister for Education after all. Not only will my kids get free tuition, but he’ll make sure they get to school on time. Win.  


Well I don’t think that I will have child-[redacted].

Chan Chun Sing. His energy and willingness to connect with the young feels genuine, I imagine he would be pretty spontaneous in entertaining the children.

My only concern is my children may shout “kee chiu” for no reason whatsoever when I return.

(Photo from Ong Ye Kung's Facebook page)
5. Shoot, shag, marry?


Marry: Ong Ye Kung. Dude’s a Scorpio, which is apparently an intense and passionate sign. If I am going to spend, say, 50 years with someone, then I’d hope that he has the personality to make at least 80% of that exciting. He also enjoys rock music, which should provide excitement for the remaining 20% of the time.

Shag: Jesus Christ, can I not? Chan Chun Sing. Man’s not hot. But he’s my choice for this because he wears a Casio. I’m hoping this means he’s super chill, and would not mind being ghosted after the deed.

Shoot: Heng Swee Keat looks like how an ex of mine would look when he grows up. So unfortunately that makes him a shoo-in for this category.


Shoot: Chan Chun Sing. Dude smiles too much.

Shag: Heng Swee Keat. Only because I would pick Ong Ye Kung to marry. Also, there have been a lot of whispers about how Heng Swee Keat will never be PM because he’s too short. But you know what, don’t underestimate guys like him. 

Marry: Ong Ye Kung. Would probably give me a generous allowance, while turning a blind eye to my transgressions. Would probably also come pick me up from a bar when drunk, while fuming silently in the car but never actually daring to tell me off. Thanks bro.


Shoot: Chan Chun Sing. It’s that look in his eye.  

Shag: Ong Ye Kung because he looks like a proper hard worker, you know, someone who will give his all.  

Marry: It’s important for me to marry a man who can complement my strengths and weaknesses—hence Heng Swee Keat. He seems like someone who will take the lead when it comes to balancing the books (my weakness) but won’t question me when it comes to everything else (my strength).


Shoot: Heng Swee Keat. I want to believe that he is a fun person, but there’s only so much alcohol one can drink every day. I cannot afford to have cirrhosis just for a dull man to liven up.

Shag: Chan Chun Sing. The energy that he’s brimming with can be the antidote to that 9-to-5 grind from time to time.

Marry: Ong Ye Kung. He’s certainly not a ‘yes-man’, but he also looks like a man who knows how to resolve conflicts in a rational and reasonable manner, instead of losing his temper. That’s crucial for a happy marriage.

Also, the guy’s in the running for the PM after his second attempt to enter politics – he’s the total embodiment of dedication, loyalty and perseverance. How can you not love a man like that?

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Disclaimer: For the 5th question, we don’t literally mean ‘shoot’. We are simply playing a game (based on hypothetical premises) favoured by immature adults. 

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