SINGAPORE: On Friday (oct 20), the Elections Department (ELD) released the amounts each candidate spent on the Presidential Election held on Sept 1. Former Senior Minister Tharman Shanmugarantnam who won the election by an overwhelming majority, spent the most money during the campaign, followed by Mr Ng Kok Song and then Mr Tan Kin Lian. Each candidate could spend as much as S$812,822.10, and none exceeded this amount.
The ELD had announced on Thursday (Oct 19) that the expenses of each candidate would be available for inspection online from Friday (Oct 20) morning, starting at 9 am, for six months till Apr 19, 2024.
The returns and declarations submitted for Presidential Election 2023 are available for inspection online at the Elections Department (ELD) website (https://www.eld.gov.sg). Persons who wish to inspect the returns may log in to ELD’s digital service using their Singpass to view the returns.
Based on their campaign declarations, President Tharman’s total expenses amounted to S$738,717, while Mr Ng spent S$312,131, and Mr Tan, S$71,366. This means that the total amount spent was S$1,122, 214.
As Mr Tharman’s campaign had received S$800,000 from seven individuals, and he had only spent S$738,717, the remainder will be given back to the donors according to the amount they had donated, a spokesman for the President told CNA.
Here are the donors to his campaign, as well as their corresponding donations: Ms Michelle Liem Mei Fung, board director at Tuan Sing Holdings (S$100,000); Mr Hsieh Fu Hua, board director at GIC (S$50,000); Mr Koh Poh Tiong, board director at Fraser and Neave (S$200,000); Mr Loh Boon Chye, CEO of Singapore Exchange (S$50,000); Mr Wong Kok Hoi, founder and chief investment officer of APS Asset Management (S$100,000); Mr Wong Ngit Liong, executive chairman of Venture Group (S$200,000) and Mr Yong Ming Chong, CEO of Dymon Asia Capital (S$100,000).
Mr Tharman’s campaign spent S$481,226 on non-online advertising and S$141,865 on ads online. This included social media, the website for his campaign, and interviews by and for “youth and grassroots”.
He also spent S$300 to remove some campaign materials that did not comply with election rules, as well as S$8,640 to pay for the venue for an election meeting at Pasir Panjang Power Station.
Mr Ng and Mr Tan also spent the bulk of their election expenses on advertising, but Mr Ng paid the majority (S$280,800) for online ads and Mr Tan used almost all of the funds for his campaign (S$70,000) on non-online advertising.