Featured News Tharman Better Suited as Prime Minister, Not President -- Says Paul Tambyah

Tharman Better Suited as Prime Minister, Not President — Says Paul Tambyah

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Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) chair Paul Ananth Tambyah says presidential candidate Tharman Shanmugaratnam would be better suited for an executive role such as prime minister.

SINGAPORE: Dr Paul Ananth Tambyah, who chairs the Singapore Democratic Party, has weighed in on the presidential election, saying former Senior Minister Tharman Shanmugarantman would be better suited for an executive role, such as Prime Minister.

Singaporeans will be trooping to the polls on September 1, deciding between Mr Tharman, 66, former GIC chief investment officer Ng Kok Song, 75, and a former NTUC Income chief executive Tan Kin Lian, 75.

Mr Tharman also served as Deputy Prime Minister, Chairman of the Monetary Authority of Singapore, and Deputy Chairman of GIC.

See also  PM Lee says President-elect Tharman will work closely with the Govt

Dr Tambyah acknowledged Mr Tharman’s credentials, saying that he is an “excellent economist and a brilliant financial leader” in a TikTok video posted on his account earlier this month.


Replying to @lamkhinthet #fyp #teamSDP #politics #sgpolitics #singapore #xyzbca #fypsg #makeitviral #PE2023 #president #sgpresidentialelection2023

♬ original sound – Paul Tambyah – Paul Tambyah

He was speaking in response to TikTok user @lamkhinthet, who had commented that “Tharman will be effective in holding the 2nd key as he is familiar with the system. How to effectively check our reserves if you are unfamiliar?”

In Singapore, the Government holds the first key to its considerable reserves, with the President holding the second.

Dr Tambyah, however, responded that the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP) has consistently said that “the job of the elected president is not executive, but custodial”, with the office holder exercising custody over three areas: drawing down of past reserves, certain key appointments including attorney general, and the appointments and activities of organisations such as the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB).

The SDP chair noted that Mr Tharman did not make any comments about the last attorney general, and added that “it’s going to be very difficult for Mr Tharman to try and override the Prime Minister if the CPIB wants to investigate a Cabinet minister and the Prime Minister says no”.

He also questioned whether the former Senior Minister “would be able to resist the government in terms of drawing down past reserves and whether he would choose alternative approaches which some have suggested which is to make use of current investment income”.

“The bottom line is, I think Mr Tharman is a brilliant economic mind And he would be better suited to be prime minister. Unfortunately his party decided not to allow him to do this so he’s up for choice for president.

Perhaps we might need a more independent president to be able to fulfil the custodial rule rather than Mr Tharman, who is better suited for an executive role like Prime Minister,” said Dr Tambyah.


Paul Tambyah: 3 PAP Speakers did not complete their terms, perhaps it’s time to consider independent or neutral Speaker

Read also:

The “true independent” Tan Kin Lian grew NTUC Income’s assets from millions to billions 

Singapore Presidential Election 2023: Tharman, Ng Kok Song, Tan Kin Lian qualify as presidential candidates 

Calvin Cheng predicts a two-horse Presidential race — Tharman and Tan Kin Lian 

Presidential hopeful Tan Kin Lian raises concern over tight timeline 

Tan Kin Lian launches second bid for presidency, aims to restore trust and hope 


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