SINGAPORE: Former Nominated Member of Parliament Calvin Cheng has unleashed a scathing remark on the supporters of losing-Presidential Election candidate Tan Kin Lian. He labelled them as ‘deluded’ and represented the worst of Singaporeans.
Ex-Senior Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam was elected as Singapore’s 9th President, securing an astounding 70.4% (1,746,427) of the votes. Former GIC chief investment officer Ng Kok Song came in second place, garnering 15.74% (390,041) of the votes, followed closely by ex-NTUC Income CEO Tan with 13.88% (344,292) votes.
Cheng, who shared his unfiltered sentiment on Facebook moments after the Presidential Election results were announced, stated that he voted for Ng as he did not want to see Tan come in second in the presidential race.
“Only the most deluded people thought that Tharman would not win. It was always about the margin. So I voted for Mr Ng Kok Song, because I did not want Mr. Tan Kin Lian to come second. I have nothing against Mr Tan. I genuinely think he is not a bad person, and was competent as CEO of NTUC Insurance,” shared the ex-NMP Cheng.
Tan’s campaign has also been marred by his past social media posts, which have been deemed inappropriate, for which he has had to issue an apology. However, despite these controversies, several opposition leaders and members are still seen supporting his campaign.
On Nomination day, Tan’s proposer was Tan Jee Say, a candidate from the Singapore Democratic Party in the 2020 General Election, while his seconder was Lim Tean, the leader of the People’s Voice party. Tan’s principal election agent is Prabu Ramachandran, also from the People’s Voice party. Progress Singapore Party’s chairman Dr Tan Cheng Bock, in his personal capacity, gave his endorsement to Tan in the final days of the Presidential Election campaign. Goh Meng Seng of the People’s Power Party was also seen canvassing support for Tan at the start of the campaign.
Former NMP Cheng not only criticised these opposition members who openly supported presidential candidate Tan, but he labelled them in various unappetising manner.
“But the minor opposition leaders, and their supporters, who gathered around Mr Tan, represent the worst of Singaporeans. Nativist, xenophobic, racist, inward-looking, angry, aggressive – they are what Hilary Clinton called the “deplorables”. I call them our villagers,” expressed Cheng.
However, even with President-elect Tharman’s decisive triumph, former NMP Cheng has issued a poignant reminder to governing party supporters, urging them to refrain from generalising all opposition supporters. According to him, the results of the Presidential Election might not necessarily offer a foolproof indication of how the opposition supporters will vote in the upcoming general election.
“Hardcore PAP supporters should not gloat too much. Do not put all the opposition supporters in the same basket. The centrist Workers Party supporter would vote for President-elect Tharman. But not for the other bunch of circus clowns. Many of my WP-supporting friends voted for Tharman. They will go back to supporting moderate, centrist opposition at the next GE,” explained Cheng.
Singapore last held its General Election in June 2020; the next election is due by November 2025. In the previous election, the Workers’ Party emerged victorious in Hougang SMC, Sengkang GRC, and Aljunied GRC, while the Progress Singapore Party secured two Non-Constituency Member of Parliament seats as their West Coast GRC team are the best-performing losers in the election.