SINGAPORE: After certain opposition leaders openly supported the presidency bid of Mr Tan Kin Lian, the former CEO of insurer NTUC Income, Mr Ng Kok Song, who has also set his sights on the presidency, said that the endorsements have “converted this presidential election into a general election”.
On Sunday (Aug 27), the chairman of the Progress Singapore Party, Dr Tan Cheng Bock, publicly endorsed Mr Tan. Prior to this, People’s Voice chief Mr Lim Tean and Mr Tan Jee Say, who had founded the now-disbanded Singaporeans First party, were already among Mr Tan’s key supporters.
At Ayer Rajah Food Centre the following day, former GIC chief investor Mr Ng told members of the media, “There’s a danger that he’s going to be manipulated by those leaders of the opposition parties. They even went so far as to say that those who are supporting him may be appointed as advisers to the Council of Presidential Advisers (CPA).”
“So what sort of independence is that?” The Straits Times quoted Mr Ng as saying. “What happened yesterday is an act of dishonor, disrespect, contempt, on the office of the presidency; to mix up the presidency with gutter politics.”
In a Facebook post on Sunday night, however, Dr Tan, who had narrowly lost the Presidential Election in 2011, clarified that he was supporting Mr Tan in his personal capacity “because Singaporeans want transparency and accountability. Having another establishment-endorsed candidate as president will not provide this.”
He also expressed regret that Mr George Goh had not qualified as a candidate and added, “Today, I Tan Cheng Bock want to plead with you to stand for what is right. Love your country by supporting the cause for an independent president. Your one vote counts make it worth it.”
Progress Singapore Party has also said that it has “no plans to endorse or support any candidate in the upcoming Presidential Election,” but added that “Individuals, however, are free to support any candidate they wish in their personal capacities,” an Aug 29 CNA report says. /TISG