Saturday, July 09, 2011

Tan Kin Lian for Presidency

The Certificates of Eligibility have been issued to the Four Tans and now it seems that there is a high possibility of a Four Corner fight.

The approval of Mr. Tan Jee Say has put up quite a bit of interesting points. With due respect to Jee Say, his ability to get the Certificate of Eligibility has opened up a whole new dimension to the Elected Presidency, not only for this one but for future President Elections, i.e. if there are still any in future. According to some information, the paid up capital of Jee Say's company was $1million, far shortfall of the expected $100million. This would mean that many bosses of fund management companies would be able to qualify for Presidency in future.

The Four Corner fight scenario we are having right now may be the worst case scenario but not totally unexpected. As an Opposition Member, many of my friends would expect me to support fellow opposition member who has quit from his party to run for Presidency. However, I still prefer Mr. Tan Kin Lian as our President but this is nothing personal towards Mr. Tan Jee Say. It is just a matter of perspective.

All four candidates have been qualified by the "three wise men" to be men of good character and integrity. However, there are still major differences between them.

The Elected Presidency system was set up by PAP back in the late 1980s when there was perceived massive anti-PAP sentiment. PAP has lost two seats by 1984 and they were planning for the eventuality of what will happen if PAP suffers a "freak election result" and lost power. As explained earlier, they have thought of having a Elected President, supposedly "Pro-PAP", as the last line of defence and platform to handicap the non-PAP government. PAP has been talking about Presidency is not the second power centre... yes, it is not supposed to be when PAP is in power. But if PAP loses power, it will become PAP's second power centre and base for retaking power!

I do not want to see that happening. Political Neutrality is the fundamental pre-requisite for a Truly Independent President. It is not coincident that the most remembered and loved Presidents of the past are all politically neutral in many ways, be it President Sheares or President Wee. President Ong was an unexpected one who acted very independently inspite of his close ties with PAP.

If I do not want to see PAP making use of the Elected Presidency as the platform to enhance their political agenda of retaking power, I would not want to see opposition linked Presidency to do likewise. At this moment, only Tan Kin Lian could be considered as the most Independent candidate in terms of Political Neutrality.

All other three candidates have just quit their party membership just before their announcement of contesting for Presidential Elections. (Tan Kin Lian has quit years ago.) All the other candidates have contested in General Elections before and two of them have political appointments as MP or Minister.

With due respect to Tan Jee Say, if he becomes the President, all his moves would be viewed with contempt by core PAP supporters. If he criticise the PAP government, rightfully or wrongfully, there will always be lingering doubts on whether his criticism is embedded with political agenda or not. This will be the setting for endless political bickering. The same criticism that comes from Tan Kin Lian would not suffer such perceptions.

Some of the candidates have talked about the Presidency as the figure head of unifying Singaporeans. But I really doubt they truly understand what that means.

If either Tony Tan or Tan Jee Say wins and become President, would the core anti-PAP voters and core PAP supporters be happy with the corresponding results? Would they really willing to unite under either of them? But if Tan Kin Lian is the President, even though these opposition supporters or pap supporters may not have voted him, they would find him an acceptable person to become the President.

This is why, in the interest of the Nation, I would rather support Tan Kin Lian instead of Tan Jee Say. Both may perform the same role of checks and balances but Tan Jee Say has the political baggage which may turn the Elected Presidency into the platform which PAP would want to use for politicking in future if they lost power. On top of that, Tan Kin Lian would be in the better position of performing the role of unifying Singaporeans due his political neutrality.

Goh Meng Seng


Anonymous said...

The COE had been issued, don't brood over the paid up capital issue. You are a matured enough politician to know that.

Anonymous said...

Come to think of it, there is no need for you to justify why you support Tan Kin Lian. You can sell his koyok here, I think it is perfectly fine. Don't need to explain to people why you prefer him than Tan Jee Say.

Goh Meng Seng said...

Even though I am an opposition member but I would want to see fairness in the system.

The paid up capital thing may be misconstrued as the most important pre-requisite. If that is so, it would mean that lots more people are eligible to become Presidential candidates as previously thought. This may be a good thing.

I would need to explain because my friends and supporters may have questions in their minds about why I, as an opposition member do not choose to support fellow opposition member but instead supported Tan Kin Lian.

Goh Meng Seng

Anonymous said...

name spelled wrongly
Tan Kin Lain

Anonymous said...

Your comparison of TJS & TT is a wrong comparison.

Someone like TT who is a long time vet of PAP machinery of 30+years and have reached the highest echelon (DPM) versus someone like TSJ who is an attachment or association with SDP for a mere 2 months prior and leading up to the end campaign is hardly comparable. I would imagine most people associate TT strongest to PAP firstly, followed by TCB to PAP, followed by TKL with NTUC but nonetheless PAP affiliated and supported entity. If anything, my personal view is that TJS has the least Partisan links among the 4.

Having said that, I believe the race is par for 4 of them. I haven't made up my mind yet, but this is how the 4 candidates are being colored at this moment, at least for me.

Anonymous said...

having heard and read the things tan kin lian write and say. and the things he want to do as a president. i can't help but wonder how he terribly he can make singapore a joke if he ever becomes the head of state, and crying like a baby, because no one wants to play sokudo with him

Anonymous said...

60% have voted for PAP and 40% for opposition.

Like it or not, most people would associate TT and TCB with PAP and TJS and TKL with opposition.

It is therefore quite likely that 60% would vote for TT and TCB and 40% would vote for TJS and TKL.

Now that the mainstream media is singing TT praises all day long and with such dilution of votes, TT will for sure win comfortably.

That would certainly spell disaster.

Just like how the opposition would come together and agree not to get into a three corner fight, TKL should back out from the contest and strongly support TJS to fight for the presidency.

That way all the votes can be concentrated to TJS and there is a better chance the TJS will become president.

Anonymous said...

I concur with comments here: association to PAP in descending order is TT, TCB, TKL & TJS. TT is ex-SPH Chairman, if he fails EP, he wld fall back to SPH, what will happen to those SPH guys who didn't strongly him? Hence we see state-controlled media singing praises abt TT. TKL is from NTUC, an entity which is a strong power base and supporter of PAP. TKL is out of favor with PAP clearly as we see TT gaining endorsement from unions, from which previously TKL might seem in advantage due to his stronger ties through NTUC (endorsement from union sounds ridiculous: isn't voting secretive or the secrecy is scrapped? would you follow your union leader in voting? since when union has been independent to the population? Aren't those that expressed support to TT simply show their strong political affiliation to or even beneficiary from PAP?). I would prefer either TJS or TKL back down so the votes become concentrated. Perhaps GMS has written in attempt to unite non-PAP supporters and I respect and appreciate the intention and leadership expressed. I haven't decide between TKL and TJS. But if the most damaging (to Singaporens) role is being a 2nd key holder to the reserve, I would choose someone who has demonstrated more backbone and are more vocal for the job, to be objective in his role and to resist being a puppet to PAP.

Anonymous said...

Your fellow NSP member Nicole Seah is endorsing Mr TJS and here u are singing a different speaks how well and unified your own party is now.

Anonymous said...

How come you post this here instead of the other statistician blog? Sometime here sometime there, make up your mind leh.

Anonymous said...

what are your opinions on Tan Cheng Bock? We have heard a lot on the other 3 candidates, be it in the papers or in social media, but I feel that sometimes we fail to consider Tan Cheng Bock. What are your views towards his candidacy?

Anonymous said...

I won't support Tan JS purely because during GE2011 in my area(Holland-Bukit Panjang), he never come to my Area(bukit Panjang) at all during Campaign period and also
his election poster, I find that he is not serious in contesting rather seeking attention like buying Toto so failed in GE2011 and
now try his luck at president so that he become famous for personal
glory. I respect WP(slyvia Lim and Low TK) in walking the ground in Aljunied 5 years ago(Slyvia almost visited every HDB blocks in Aljunied but I never see any SDP leaflet(campaign material) distributed to my blk(but received PAP one) so I don't support him and I find Tan JS should remain in SDP and start walking the ground now before next GE 5 years later if he is sincere and committed in serving the peoples just like what WP has done.

Anonymous said...

What is going on?
Nicole Seah is with Tan Jee Say
and Goh Meng Seng rooting for
Tan Kin Lian.
Is there a break-up in NSP?

Anonymous said...

Meng Seng, when you say you want to see fairness in the system with regards to paid up capital, define fairness.
This 100 million paid up capital is dictated by LKY. Is this fair??

You may want to support any one you see fit, but don't go around and blast other candidates.

I fond your reasoning on Tan Jee Say is extremely shallow.

So, in the interest of the nation, please quit talking crap about other candidates. You may support TKL all you want, that is your choice.

Goh Meng Seng said...

The rules of the game have been set and if you want to play the game of PAP, then go according to the rules.

If you find the rules totally unreasonable, then either don't play the game or try to become the next government to change the rules.

If all the other three candidates can qualify by the rules, I don't think any other candidates should be any exception. If not, then we don't need the rules at all.

I think as opposition members, we always fault PAP for not abiding by the very rules they have set for all. i.e. exceptional long deferment for some White Horses, special treatments and privileges...etc. But in order to have the moral high ground to point at PAP's faults, we must be careful not to fall into the trap of enjoying any privileged treatment in the first place. Else, that would be smack of hypocrisy.

In this case, it is grey area and indeed, redefining who could and could not qualify for the certificates. It has opened up a whole new dimension of who could and could not qualify. It has totally changed the initial belief of many that there could be more people able to qualify for the certificate.

With due respect, this perspective has nothing to do with who I support. Any people with a clear mind would have come to the same conclusion and would have ponder about such change on the definition of eligibility.

Goh Meng Seng

Anonymous said...

I find Nicole Seah is a green horn and like to attract attention by associating herself with peoples with different motives and I also find her or NSP very lacking in party discipline which may drive the party members moving in different direction and utimately split the party. A political party cannot function as an individual but must work as a group otherwise too many cooks will spoil the soup

Anonymous said...

You play up the issue of paid up capital, but note that TKL has also applied for the COE under the same clause of "comparable capacity" as TJS!

Perhaps you support TKL because you had no choice as you already committed to him long ago... not knowing TJS would step up. When you say "... in the interest of the Nation..." you have to support TKL, it's a little hypocritical.

Many people I know would support TKL if TJS didn't get the COE... but frankly TKL has been very flicker minded and he has shown lack of conviction in the running for this PE since the beginning. I think TJS will carry himself much better as a president.

Anonymous said...

You forgot that Tan Kin Lian was asked to leave NTUC Income. NTUC and by implication, the PAP, could not have a good opinion of Tan Kian Lian. So it seemed to me that you are deluding yourself in implying that Tan Kian Lian would not be viewed with contempt by the PAP.

Goh Meng Seng said...

I think you are losing the context. Under the same clause BUT NTUC has far more than paid up capital than $100m!

There is nothing comparable with small fund management company.

Goh Meng Seng

Anonymous said...

I have been following TKL's blog for 3 years (since 2008).

I find that he really cares for the welfare and well-being of ordinary people.

He has expressed his concerns and has made suggestions on the following issues :

1)the affordability of HDB flats

2)the need of unemployment insurance for the workers

3)the widening income gap between the elites and ordinary workers

4)the transportation woes of ordinary people

5)the high public medical fee

6)the need of minimum wage

7)the selling of complex credit-link notes(most of them are high risk with only moderate return) to ordinary people

8)the selling of high cost and low yield insurance products to ordinary people

I will vote for TKL.

Anonymous said...

Many people are not aware that TKL is not an active PAP member for more than 25 years (since 1985) because he was unhappy with the direction of the party policy on the graduate mother scheme, the unfair burden of national service on male citizens and on the HDB policy.

He continued as an inactive cadre member of the PAP until his retirement from NTUC Income in 2007. He resigned from the party shortly afterwards.

He did not want to quit earlier as it was necessary for him to preserve good relations with the ministers and the NTUC leaders, for the sake of NTUC Income.

Over the years, he has written many letters to the media on issues affecting the people of Singapore, such as national service, public transport and housing.

I believe that we can count on him to be independent of PAP government.

I will vote for TKL.

Anonymous said...

TKL spoke up for the man on the street during the recent 2008 global financial crisis, when investors were spooked by DBS Bank's toxic products like Lehman Mini-bonds, DBS High Notes etc

Where were TT, TCB and TJS back then?
Do you remember what they said for the people affected?
Did they spoke up for victims of commercial frauds? Investment scams etc.??

Vote TAN KIN LIAN for a better Singapore.

Anonymous said...

TKL has expressed that the Presidential salary is too high and will donate at least 50% of the salary to charity, if elected.

This will set a good example for others ministers to follow.

If we all agree that President’s salary and ministers’ pay are too high, then we should vote for TKL.