A comment by former presidential candidate Tan Kin Lian has been making the rounds online. In the comment, Tan responds to a question by a netizen who reportedly asked him: “So how? Let you lead the country? If I’m not wrong, you had the lowest votes in the presidential race?”
Tan responded: “I got slightly less votes than Lee HL (104,085 compared to 135,316) but he had 6 people in his team and I am the sole candidate. And I don’t get a salary of 2 million plus a year.”
In the 2011 presidential election, in which Tan stood as a candidate, 2,156,389 total votes were cast out of which 2,118,540 (98.24 per cent) were considered valid votes.
Out of the 2,118,540 valid votes, Tan garnered 104,095 or 4.91 per cent of votes compared to his competitors Tony Tan (745,693 or 35.20 per cent of votes), Tan Cheng Bock (738,311 or 34.85 per cent of votes) or Tan Jee Say (530,441 or 25.04 per cent of votes).
Earlier that year, the PAP team helmed by Lee Hsien Loong garnered 112,677 or 69.33 per cent of votes in Ang Mo Kio GRC, compared to the Reform Party’s 49,851 or 30.67 per cent of votes. 4 years later, PM Lee’s six-member team received 135,115 or 78.63 per cent of votes, compared to the Reform Party’s 36,711 or 21.37 per cent of votes.
While Tan Kin Lian did gain a volume of votes close to the range of votes PM Lee’s team garnered in the Ang Mo Kio GRC, the size of the electorate both Tan and the PAP team faced is vastly different.
While Tan could have been voted in by a total voter turnout of 2,156,389 voters, the PAP team were restricted to a voter turnout of 167,562 voters in 2011 and 176,713 voters in 2015.
Perhaps a more accurate comparison may only be made if Tan Kin Lian faced Lee Hsien Loong one-on-one in a presidential race or if he led a 6-member team against the head of government’s team at Ang Mo Kio GRC during the next general election.