Many names were thrown out in the ongoing debate on who should be the next Prime Minister (PM) of Singapore. Even after Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat was given the position of first assistant secretary general of the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP), other names were still being thrown into the mix.
Tan Kin Lian, a former presidential candidate, posted a poll on his Facebook page about a week ago on April 9, asking his followers who they thought was best suited for the role of Prime Minister. The former Chief Executive Officer of NTUC Income gave his subscribers of social media only a few contenders to choose from, and among those, the results were very clear.
Last on the list was Workers’ Party Chief Pritam Singh, who fell short with none of the votes. He was pitted against political heavyweights such as Heng Swee Keat, Tharman Shanmugaratnam and Dr Tan Cheng Bock.
After an announcement on April 6, where Pritam announced that the Workers’ Party will not call for the repeal of a law that criminalises sex between men because there is no consensus within its leadership committee on the matter, he received much backlash from many liberals and youth in Singapore.
Pritam added that there appeared to be a deepening cultural war between conservatives and liberals and that turning Section 377A into a political issue could worsen divisions in society.
Results of the poll showed that a whopping 41 per cent of those who voted chose the leader of the ‘Progress Singapore Party’, Dr Tan Cheng Bock.
As runner-up, Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam came in with 32 per cent of the 44 votes.
Surprisingly, next in line to be Prime Minister, Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat only received nine per cent of the votes.
Many of those who commented expressed their surprise that the Workers’ Party Chief did not receive any of the votes. Others also felt that Lim Tean, Chief of political party ‘People’s Voice’ should have been on the list as well.