Tan Kin Lian a former candidate for the presidency says Singaporeans lack common sense and “cannot distinguish between what is real and what is imaginary”.
In a media post on Thursday (Facebook, Nov 21) the former chief executive officer of NTUC Income wrote, “I have observed a strange trait in the thinking of many Singaporeans. They think in a bizarre fashion and cannot distinguish between what is real and what is imaginary, what is practical and what is bizarre.
“They must have sent too much time in being tutored on solving bizarre questions in PSLE exams. In simple terms, it is lack of common sense.”
In the comments section of the post claiming Singaporeans lack common sense, Mr Tan also agreed with a netizen who said that Singaporeans could be “conditioned to think a certain way only” and are more “robotic in thinking.”
He contested the 2011 presidential election and finished in fourth place out of four candidates with 4.91 per cent of votes. Earlier this year, he said that he is considering contesting the upcoming general election.
It remains unclear what prompted Mr Tan to share this view publicly. When asked for examples of this lack of common sense, Mr Tan pointed netizens to another Facebook post:
“Several years ago, a traveler used the passport of a family member by mistake and went through the immigration counter. The officer did not compare the photo on the passport with the traveler.
“In my opinion, this was a small matter. But many people over reacted. What would happen if it was a terrorist who came into Singapore?
“The authority and the minister also over reacted. They introduced another level of check after passing the automated gate to ensure that the traveler had a valid boarding pass. The gate had already checked the fingerprint of the traveler against the passport
“The authority probably overlooked the check that was already done at the entrance to verify that the traveler had a valid boarding pass with the same date. Any additional check could have been done at that point.
“The traveler now have to pass through three layers of check – at the entrance, at the automated gate and after the gate. It must be very costly.
“Anyway the traveler had to pay the airport fee, which is among the highest in the world. I do not know if the airport pays the immigration authority for the cost of the three layers of checks.
“This process has been continued for many years. Nobody bother to review if it is really necessary to have the third check. Nobody cares. They must be waiting for instructions.”
In April, Mr Tan wrote that he will only contest in the general election if other like-minded people join him to achieve a change in government.
Revealing that he will be measuring the commitment of these like-minded folks through a series of “tests” he will be putting out in the coming days, he warned: “If I do not see enough of them coming forward, I will change my mind – and not stand for election. I do not owe any duty to anyone to carry out my “promise” to stand for election.”
Mr Tan explained that he wants to measure the commitment of his supporters because he and his family face the risk of being targeted, and discriminated against if he puts himself out there once more, but does not receive significant support.
Indicating that putting one’s self out there and speaking out in an effort to change the government is a “sacrifice” that people like him undertake, Mr Tan said that he needs to know if he can rely on the people’s support before he makes this sacrifice.
A day later, he cautioned voters that their vote is “not enough” and that they need to get into the trenches if they want to effect change: “Some people think that their one vote is everything. They are over-demanding of the non PAP candidate and expect a lot of that candidate to win that vote.
“They do not realize that there are 2.5 million voters, each as demanding as they are. If they want change, they have to come out and help to make the change. Their one vote is not enough. They need to put in much, much, much more.
“If they don’t put in the effort, we will never see any change. They should just happily live with the PAP and not condemn the non PAP parties.”