PM Lee says overwhelming majority of votes for Tharman showed that “race is a smaller factor now"

SINGAPORE: PM Lee Hsien Loong said that “it is indeed a good sign that in a national vote, Singaporeans have elected a candidate from a minority community as President, on his merits, by an overwhelming majority”.

Speaking at Mr Tharman’s inauguration at the Istana on Thursday (Sept 14), PM Lee said that Singaporeans have chosen a candidate who is “eminently qualified for this high office”.

Mr Lee said that President Tharman is “someone who not only has the ability, experience and stature to carry out his duties both at home and abroad, but also sound judgment and unquestioned integrity”. These are “all vital prerequisites for being President,” he said.

PM Lee added that “it was good that there was a contest, and Singaporeans had the opportunity to exercise their right to vote”.

“The strong vote share you garnered showed the regard and support voters had for you, and for your message of unity expressed in your campaign theme, Respect for All.”

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At the end of his speech, PM Lee said that President Tharman would, like his predecessors, be a “President for all Singaporeans” and serve Singapore with “dedication and distinction”.

“We wish you every success as you embark on your presidency,” Mr Lee added. “And we will work closely with you to take Singapore forward towards a better, brighter future for all Singaporeans.” /TISG