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Singapore PM may step down early

April 24, 2004 at 6:35 PM

SINGAPORE, April 24 (UPI) -- Singapore's Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong said Saturday he is likely to give up his position earlier than expected, Xinhua News Service reported.

Speaking at a conference of the ruling People's Action Party Saturday, Goh did not give the exact date of his departure as premier, but confirmed that he will step down this year after a cabinet reshuffle, which is likely to take place this summer.

"If I give a date now, I go overseas, they say oh you are on your last week of premiership, they will be very polite, that's the reason why I will not be deciding until I have done my job," he said.

Goh plans to visit the United States next month and other planned trips will take place in June.

Goh, who became Singapore's prime minister in 1990, said last August that he will step down within two years, and Deputy Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, son of Singapore's former Premier Lee Kuan Yew, will be his successor.

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