Saturday, June 25, 2011

Elected Presidency - Why Tan Kin Lian?

In my previous post, I have stated PAP's intentions when they first set up the Elected Presidency system. I have also stated that back in 2008, I decided to turn the table around and try to beat PAP at their own game and rules. That is why I approached Mr. Tan Kin Lian.

But why Tan Kin Lian?

I have known Kin Lian through his writing to the ST Forum as well as his blog. Though I do not agree 100% with what he has said (eg. his stand on Casino) but through his writing, he is always positive about things, even when he disagreed with certain policies or views. He would always try to suggest alternative solutions etc. He also appears to be quite FAIR in his comments and approaches.

Most importantly, I get to know Kin Lian much better through a mutual friend. An unassuming person who judge people on their performance and abilities, not merely on their education certificates and family background. These were just some of the information I gathered before I met him.

I finally met him over a drink to talk about the need to have a truly independent minded Elected President so that the separation of powers coupled with checks and balances within our political system could be enhanced. He agreed in principle of such needs but he said he wasn't ready to consider candidacy for Elected President. However, he put up his views on how PAP has changed over time and the very core values (eg. Public Service) which are so valuable have been eroded.

Even thugh he wasn't ready to stand as candidate, but he mentioned that if he ever stand and become President one day, he will donate off a big portion of the salary of the President to charity. This is because he feels that the salary of the President is just too excessive as this is basically Public Service. Although I may not have "achieved" my initial aim but I am glad to have met Kin Lian and have a friend like him.

As an opposition member, it is naturally for me to hold certain views which will have a tendency of bias against PAP. Most of the time, Kin Lian is able to balance it up with his Fair deliberations. I have learned the value of Fairness through Kin Lian in my various subsequent meetings with him.

When the Minibond saga exploded, many people wrote to Kin Lian to complain about how the structured financial products have been sold to them. Subsequently, Kin Lian decided to hold protest rallies at Hong Lim Park to help Minibond victims to gain access to Fidrac. He has also held meetings and discussions with lawyers to explore various legal options.

Kin Lian subsequently found out that there were quite a large number of victims who could only understand Chinese. After failing to secure help from his PAP friends, he finally approached me. That is how I get myself involved in the whole Minibond saga.

After much research into the various financial structured products, we are convinced that there is no way layman on the streets could understand these products well before committing their investment. We also believe that the banks and financial institutions should not put up these products for retail banking and MAS should not have approved such move. Massive mis-selling of such products is possible because we believe that even those promoters at the front counters did not really understand Minibonds fully. All signs of mis-representation and mis-selling were all there but most Minibond victims did not get a Fair treatment and Justice.

Kin Lian has tried his very best to uphold his values of Fairness by getting involved in the Minibond Saga. It proved to be a long drawn battle which died off because Fair Justice cannot be obtained within our system without committing hefty cost. Unlike Hong Kong whereby the pressure put up by the opposition parties in their Legislative Council has paid off and most investors were able to recover more than 70% or even 90% of their losses. In Singapore, those who are successful in recovering substantial part of their investment are very limited.

By then, I was told Kin Lian has resigned from PAP. Kin Lian, in return for my help in the Minibond Saga, promised to speak on my Rally Stage if I stood for elections. He kept his promise in GE2011.

I have written this lengthy essay on how I meet Mr Tan Kin Lian and what happens in between just to show readers why Tan Kin Lian is a person who can be trusted to perform the critical role of Elected President. He has not only spoken dearly about the core values which he believes in but when the need arises, he will stand up to the challenge to uphold his values of Fairness and Public Service. His courage to stand up for justice to the Minibond victims and even risk clashing with his ex-PAP colleague, Mr. Goh Chok Tong who was then the Chairman of MAS (Kin Lian has served as his branch secretary before) is commendable.

We need a President with the MORAL Courage to stand up for Justice, Fairness and the welfare of the people. This Moral Courage must be huge enough to overcome fear and even barriers of personal relationships. By standing to lead and help the Minibond victims in time of needs and desperation, Kin Lian has demonstrated the kind of public spirit needed in a caring President.

To put it simply, NONE of the MPs in parliament have stepped forward to help the Minibond victims. Even though some of the town councils which were run by PAP MPs were hit by Minibond and lost millions, they just kept quiet and mention the losses in such a "matter of fact" way that gave people the impression that it is just a SMALL MATTER to lose just that millions.

Some people have viewed all his doings in contempt. They would say he did all these because he was planning to run for President all along. As one of the persons who have tried to persuade Kin Lian to run for Presidency, I must categorically refute such unfounded accusations and insinuations. He just tried his best to help out when he saw the unfairness Minibond victims faced.

He wasn't even thinking of running for General Election as opposition candidate, least Presidency. The only reason why he spoke at my Tampines Rally to campaign for me is basically to fulfill his promise made earlier on. I initiated it by calling him up to request his presence and support.

Kin Lian may be strongly opinionated at times but he is prepared to change his views if he is being convinced otherwise. The prime example is the views he held against Dr Chee Soon Juan. Initially, he has bad impression of Dr Chee just like most Singaporeans. But after having close contacts and observing Dr Chee for sometime, he realizes that Dr Chee isn't that "evil person" that the PAP and Press made out of him. He has since openly made an apology to Dr. Chee for his past views.

Having said all these, Kin Lian is definitely not a Saint. He will have some shortcomings just like anybody else. But most importantly, in my opinion, after all the contacts I have made with him, I feel that he has the necessary qualities to be a good and effective President in performing the role of safeguarding our reserves. Someone who is fair minded but yet has the moral courage to stand up against all odds to ask the necessary and difficult questions. Up to the point of risking his own personal friendship with his ex-PAP colleagues, in safeguarding the interests of the People and the Nation.

Thus, my personal support of Mr. Tan Kin Lian in this Presidential Election.

Goh Meng Seng


Anonymous said...

sucking up to someone boss' is no man dignity! he is always fair?! go shit and eat it! ask him about the money changer affair in medan and in his blog! imagine him to be the president of singapore? go eat shit Tan Kin Lian! and you too GMS both you are nothing short of being crooks in the same camp!

Anonymous said...

Pardon my ignorance, for I have never heard of Mr. Tan Kin Lian.

From the perspective of someone who does not know who is this character, your article is totally unconvincing. The handful of grammar mistakes do not help, too.

Maybe you can come up with more persuasive and deeper arguments for this individual's potential for presidential candidacy?

Anonymous said...

Hi GMS, let me qualify myself that I used to be an ardent supporter of you. But now, I give a lot of discount to your cause.

From what you had written, you do not even know TKL well enough yet you approached him to stand for election? Do you know that you are being grossly unfair to Singaporeans? Your 'selection criteria' is founded on shaky ground.

Being a 'public figure', it is hoped that you give more constructive writing rather than posting lots of kacang putih comment like you missed the protest march in HK or those one liner which are basically no brainer.

Many of us are (were?) your supporters, please do not let us down.

Incidentally, my vote will not be for TKL.

Anonymous said...

The biggest mistake ever.

Anonymous said...

Stop spewing malicious lies and hiding behind the spectre of anonymity. Why should Mr Goh’s character be of any doubt given the sacrifices he made to provide alternative choices in the 2011 GE? He, if anything does not need to answer to trolls. If you guys were so capable, why don’t you step on the public pedestal and be judged yourself? Mr Goh and the NSP have put forth a commendable effort in advancing the movement towards democratisation in Singapore and I am proud to have voted for his party. I have complete faith in Mr Goh’s recommended candidate Mr Tan, and his capabilities in providing an outlet for oppositional voices in government should he be elected. If you are a disgruntled NTUC employee who for whatever reasons want to flame Mr Tan, it really speaks more about yourself as a person than Mr Tan. There are alot of former and current NTUC employees supporting his campaign and that is testament to his character itself. To Mr Tan and Mr Goh, don’t give up and thank for sticking your neck out in the gutter that is Singapore politics. Best of luck, Alex