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Singapore PM's brother backs his rival with election looming

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Singapore PM's brother backs his rival with election looming
FILE PHOTO: Lee Hsien Yang, son of former leader Lee Kuan Yew, delivers his eulogy during the funeral service at the University Cultural Centre at the National University of Singapore March 29, 2015. REUTERS/Edgar Su   -   Copyright  Edgar Su(Reuters)
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SINGAPORE (Reuters) – The brother of Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Thursday described the head of a new party planned to be set up ahead of a general election that could come as soon as this year as “the leader Singapore deserves”.

Lee Hsien Yang’s comments come amid a bitter family dispute over the house of their father Lee Kuan Yew, the founder of modern Singapore, and ahead of the vote, due by early 2021, but which the prime minister has suggested could be this year.

His ruling People’s Action Party, which has governed the city-state since independence more than half a century ago, with its share of the vote never having dropped below 60 percent, now holds all but six of the 89 elected seats in parliament.

Last week, in a move that could boost Singapore’s weak opposition, a former PAP member and presidential candidate, Tan Cheng Bock, said he had applied to register a new party, called the Progress Singapore Party.

“Cheng Bock will groom future parliamentarians who will serve our country and people before party or self,” Lee Hsien Yang said in a posting on Facebook.

“This is good for the future of Singapore.” He added, “Cheng Bock is the leader Singapore deserves.”

Lee Hsien Yang did not have any further comment when contacted by Reuters. The prime minister’s office did not comment.

(Reporting by John Geddie; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

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