SINGAPORE, May 15, 2011 - Singapore independence leader Lee Kuan Yew's decision to step down after half a century in government could pave the way for reforms after the ruling party's worst election showing, analysts said Sunday.
The 87-year-old politician popularly known as "LKY" and his successor Goh Chok Tong, who turns 70 next week, announced Saturday that they would quit the cabinet of Lee's son, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, 59.
The catalyst was the May 7 parliamentary election, which revealed deep anger against the People's Action Party (PAP) and confirmed the desire of young Singaporeans for a more open political system with checks and balances.
"This decision reflects the first major steps toward serious reform of the PAP, a generational transformation," Bridget Welsh, a political science professor at the Singapore Management University.
Mr Lee and Mr Goh explained their decision to leave the Cabinet was to allow a completely younger team of ministers to engage a younger Singaporean generation.
They urge the interests of the older generation must always be kept in mind.
However, Madam Halimah admitted that ensuring the young remains connected with the older generation may not be easy.
"The young (are) very much influenced by the Internet (and) social media," said Mdm Halimah.
"We need to find a way to connect (with) the young," she added.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong didn't confirm that he would accept Mr Lee's and Mr Goh's resignation from the Government.
He said it's a "major event" and would like to take a couple of days to think before deciding.
PM Lee is expected to announce his new Cabinet line-up early next week.