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Political veteran Jufrie Mahmood urges Dr Tan Cheng Bock to endorse Tan Kin Lian in presidential race

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While Jufrie is attempting to persuade Dr Tan and others to support Tan Kin Lian for the presidency, his party member, Abdul Salim, has decided to spoil his vote on polling day

SINGAPORE — Tan Kin Lian is backed by prominent opposition figures in the 2023 Presidential Election. His team consists of; proposer Tan Jee Say who contested the 2020 General Election with the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP), and his seconder is Lim Tean, leader of Peoples Voice (PV). He has appointed Prabu Ramachandran of PV as his principal election agent.

Facing a three contest, Tan Kin Lian has urged Singaporeans to support him for the presidency if they desire an independent president with no ties to the establishment. The other presidential aspirants are former Senior Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam and ex-GIC chief investment officer Ng Kok Siong.

Among those supporting Tan Kin Lian for the 2023 Presidential Election is Dr Michael Fang, a PV candidate at the Jalan Besar GRC. Dr Fang is a volunteer with Tan’s campaign team and assisting with the logistical preparation for the presidential election.

He believes that the non-establishment supporters and those still undecided about who to vote for should consider rallying behind Tan to see a president who actively listens to ground feedback.

“Alternative parties and the middle ground voters should unite behind Tan Kin Lian who is an independent candidate in this presidential election. Tharman and Kok Song have strong ties to the establishment, but Tan Kin Lian has left the NTUC Income for about 15 years,” shared Dr Fang with The Independent Singapore.

“The focus of the voters must be on the accountability and transparency of the reserves which are of the interest to the public. Furthermore, Tan Kin Lian has been raising on several issues that matter to Singaporeans,” added Dr Fang.

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However, it is not simply a matter of opposition supporters gravitating toward a non-establishment candidate. This can be observed in the following example, where two members of the same party hold different views.

At a recent public forum, seasoned politician Jufrie Mahmood suggested to Dr Tan Cheng Bock, the chairman of the Progress Singapore Party, that he should consider endorsing Tan in the upcoming presidential election. Jufrie, currently with the SDP, also disregarded a suggestion from an audience to cast a spoiled vote to express their dissatisfaction with George Goh’s failure to obtain his certificate of eligibility, which ruled him out of the presidential race.

“I beg to disagree with your views that we should boycott the election. The PAP’s skin is too thick. They don’t care about your boycott. What we must do now is to choose who we should support. Either Ng Kok Song or Tan Kin Lian” expressed Jufrie during the Friday Conversation event on Aug 18 at the Palms Bistro.

Jufrie mentioned that the former NTUC Income CEO Tan is independent and has the courage to raise important issues. Therefore, he urged Dr Tan and all those at the forum not to squander this golden opportunity, considering there are only three candidates, and that they should carefully consider whom they should support.

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“Tan Jee Say has endorsed Tan Kin Lian. Both of them have almost 30%. What we need now is an endorsement from Dr Tan Cheng Bock. If you do that, the game is over. Bye-bye Mr Tharman. We must bring this political shock to the PAP that their candidates can be defeated. It will break the psychological barrier of the people that the PAP is not invulnerable,” added the political veteran.

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There were four candidates in the 2011 presidential election. Tan Kin Lian received the lowest votes at 4.91%, while Tan Jee Say secured 25.04%. At the top, it was a closely contested race, with Tony Tan emerging as the winner with 35.20% of the votes. Coming in a close second was Dr Tan Cheng Bock, who garnered 34.85% of the votes.

While Jufrie is attempting to persuade Dr Tan and others to support Tan Kin Lian for the presidency, his party member, Abdul Salim, has decided to spoil his vote on polling day, which is scheduled for Sept 1.

In a social media post, Salim shared that he had received multiple messages encouraging opposition supporters to unite behind Tan Kin Lian. However, Salim does not believe in this mindset as he adopts a different approach for the presidential election, which he considers distinct from a general election.

“Personally for me, during the Presidential Election, I do not vote along party lines just because I am in the opposition. I only vote for the candidate that I see and strongly believe can bring Singapore forward. That’s why back in 2011 PE, I volunteered and voted for Dr Tan Cheng Bock as I strongly believe that he will make a very good President for Singapore,” expressed Salim on his Facebook.

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Therefore, Salim is advocating for a symbolic blank vote, which he believes will send a message to the authorities that such an action would be seen as a vote for businessman Goh who failed to obtain his certificate of eligibility to contest the presidential election.

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“I will not vote for a particular candidate just because I am in the opposition neither will I vote for someone who is there just because he wanted to see his good friend win the Presidency.

For me now, casting a blank vote is a vote for George Goh! To my fellow Singaporeans and fellow supporters of George Goh, let us make our voice loud and clear. A Blank Vote Cast Is A Vote For George Goh!” explained Salim, who debuted at the general election in 2006 with the Workers’ Party at Ang Mo Kio GRC.


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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