Today is President Tony Tan’s last day on the job and he vacates his seat in the Istana to make way for a Malay successor in the upcoming reserved election to be held in mid-September.
State-linked news publication, the Straits Times, has been running a series looking back on President Tan’s six-year tenure at head of state. In one of the videos in this series, the publication asks the President:
“What significant decisions did you make during your presidency?”
President Tan’s answer: Facebook posts.
Yes, you read correctly: the President who was paid over S$4 million each year for 6 years considers his Facebook posts to be noteworthy “significant decisions” he made during his term.
President Tony Tan reflects on his six years at the Istana. http://str.sg/4HSi
Posted by The Straits Times on Sunday, 27 August 2017
According to the President himself, he helped nation-building and maintain good relations between the various segments of Singapore society by posting stuff on Facebook.
He said that he did his utmost to ensure that Singaporeans remain united, and chose to do this by “put[ting] out a number of posts on Facebook to emphasise the need of why multiracial harmony, multicultural understanding is fundamental to Singaporeans.”
Some specific incidents where the President made such a “significant decision” was the case of the infant care assistant who planned to become a martyr’s widow in Syria, the case of the two auxilliary police officers who had been radicalised, and the Little India riot four years ago, in 2013.
How did he respond to ensure Singaporeans remained united?
Well, in one of his own examples – the Little India riot, the President made a “significant decision” by posting a 3-paragraph statement on Facebook in response to Singapore’s first riots in 40 years.
Like all Singaporeans, I was deeply concerned by the violence in Little India last night. People were injured,…
This is not the first time the President has attracted negative scrutiny as he wraps up his stint at the Istana. When the Straits Times asked him what the highlight of his presidency was, in this same video series, the President pointed to Joseph Schooling’s Olympic win as his highlight.
Needless to say, he was roasted pretty badly for it.