Monday, August 15, 2011

Tan Cheng Bock Most Suitable For Singapore President

Now that the Presidential Elections Committee (PEC) has granted Certificates of Eligibility (COE) to the four prospective candidates Tan Cheng Bock, Tan Jee Say, Tony Tan Keng Yam and Tan Kin Lian, it is time for voters to start seriously considering who is the most suitable candidate to assume the role of President of Singapore.
While ESM Goh Chok Tong has referred to Tony Tan as a "suitable candidate", my personal belief is that Tan Cheng Bock is the most suitable candidate amongst the four.

Why is Tan Cheng Bock the most suitable candidate for Singapore President? I will just list a few to share my thinking:
  1. Tan Cheng Bock had been a PAP Member of Parliament and was the first non cabinet minister elected into the People's Action Party Central Executive Committee which means that he understands the thinking process of the Government of the day.
  2. He was very popular gaining 88% share of the vote in the 2001 parliamentary elections which was the PAP’s best score in 31 years.
  3. He had pushed hard for various policies such as CPF for tertiary education,  free HDB parking on Sundays and public holidays to promote family togetherness and Singaporeans first.
  4. He is well known for being outspoken and frank and stands firm on issues of conscience.
  5. He has voted against PAP on the NMP scheme despite the Party Whip not being lifted.
  6. In my opinion, he is the most independent choice of the four candidates.
    • Tan Jee Say has just contested in the GE2011 under the opposition SDP's flag and appears to be supported by the various opposition parties as he starts his campaigning. Familiar opposition figures such as SDA's Desmond Lim, NSP's Nicole Seah have appeared with him during his walkabouts.
    • Tony Tan has been always been closely aligned with the ruling party and has been involved in GIC and SPH which he only relinquished recently when announcing his candidature. I find this to be a huge minus since as the Elected President, he may be prone to investment groupthink after having been involved with GIC for so long.
    • Tan Kin Lian has not demonstrated commitment to run with the frequent flip flops of his intention to run or not run. This is a real cause for concern since to hold the highest office, one should be able to demonstrate a consistent position for the population and not waver constantly.
  7. Finally, but perhaps the most useless point, Tan Cheng Bock reminds me of Wee Kim Wee, our immensely popular President whom passed away in 2005. The nation needs a fatherly figure to gentle remind everyone that we are One People, One Nation, One Singapore regardless of our political differences.
Having Tan Cheng Bock for President will mean that we get a candidate whom is not overly aligned to either the ruling party or opposition. A president who is likely to have a heart for the people and executes his tasks with a strong focus on conscience. A president whom is well loved by all segments of society... All that awaits is the result of 27th Aug 2011.

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