SENIOR Minister S Jayakumar did little to quell speculation about whether he would step aside or contest the next general election, saying he believes the Prime Minister should have full freedom and flexibility to make that decision.

'If the PM and the party leadership's decision is to request me to continue and be in Cabinet, then of course I'll consider it a duty to serve,' he said.

'On the other hand, if I were to step down, I'll be equally happy to do so, knowing that the Government is in good and steady hands and also the constituency will be in good and steady hands.'

He added: 'You have to wait and see. Till Nomination Day. Let PM decide.'
Professor Jayakumar, 71, was speaking to reporters two days after the announcement of a Cabinet reshuffle reignited speculation about whether he might step down at the next general election, which must be held by February 2012.

He will give up the post of Coordinating Minister for National Security to Deputy Prime Minister Wong Kan Seng on Monday. But he will remain Senior Minister and coordinate policies on climate change and foreign policy matters that cut across different ministries.

'Will I step down? PM decides'