SINGAPORE: After a Reddit user noted that there appears to be no bad press about former Senior Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, who is running for President, he wrote that he was “willing to hear personal experiences of those who have met/known Mr Tharman and whether he’s really so unproblematic.”
u/CremeBasic4735 wrote on r/askSingapore thread on Sunday (Aug 27) that he found it strange that “there is literally no bad press about Tharman even though he’s been in the public eye for many decades.”
“Is Tharman really so ‘clean’ that the only criticisms about him are that he’s establishment-endorsed and the 1992 economic growth saga (which he still vehemently rejects)?” he added.
There have since been over 230 comments on the post, and those who have met the popular and well-respected Mr Tharman have said many positive things about him.
One was surprised that he visited the wake of his mother. “He paid respect to my late mother even though we may not have the same religion, he is really a man of his words. His actions has really touched my heart and till today I still remember his kindess for that day.”
Another said that Mr Tharman listened and asked meaningful questions when she gave a tour.
A Reddit user wrote that he had “the opportunity to meet him in a small meeting” and called him a “Very courteous and soft-spoken gentleman.”
“Felt like he really cared about the people on the ground,” commented another.
A commenter who used to volunteer for Mr Tharman’s MPSs wrote, “He is smart, respectful, but not a pushover (see his debates in parliament and with foreign correspondence). He is sharp, speaks sense, and whenever he disagrees with something he will make his point clear and explain why his position is so. He does not argue, he does not lose his temper. He has sound principles and stands by them.
In person, he makes you feel at ease. He listens. He engages with both old and young of all races. On the street he is quiet and unassuming. He stays until 2am every monday during MPS. He replies emails personally. He insists on clearing up after himself.”
“Tharman was one of the rare ones who bothered to actually ask me in person what I was doing for studies and what my future plans were – he then gave me advice on where to go to look for the opportunities I was interested in. No MP ever bothered to ask me, personally, what I was doing,” chimed in another.
It seems that Mr Tharman’s appeal crosses party lines.