Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said Sunday he planed to bow out and hand over power to his deputy, Lawrence Wong, late next year, before the 2025 general election.
Lee, 71, initially intended to retire before turning 70, but it was shelved because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He has served as head of the long-ruling People's Action Party, or PAP, and as prime minister since 2004.
Last year, he named Wong, who is also finance minister, as his designated successor.
"It has been my great fortune and honor to have served the country, first in the SAF, and then in the party and government, for all of my adult life.
I've been PM for almost 20 years. Singapore and PAP have been thoroughly transformed, shaped by our many trials and tribulations.
我当新加坡总理快20年了 。新加坡和人民行动党在经历了许多考验和磨难之后，已经彻底改变了 。
But some things never change. We still wear whites; we still formally address each other as comrades.
但有些事情永远不会改变 。我们仍然身穿白衣；我们仍然正式称呼彼此为同志 。
We remain dedicated to Singapore and we still feel the call of duty to serve the people,
and we still have the duty to future generations to keep this island safe and secure.
These things have not changed under my watch, and they will not change under the 4G team."