Tommy Koh Expresses Solidarity with Tharman Shanmugaratnam for President

SINGAPORE: After Nomination Day proceedings on August 22, Tommy Koh has come out to show his support for presidential candidate Tharman Shanmugaratnam.

In a Facebook post on Tuesday (Aug 22), Ambassador-at-large Tommy Koh said he is a friend of all three presidential candidates—Ng Kok Song, Tharman Shanmugaratnam, and Tan Kin Lian. While each has his merit, Prof Koh added that after due consideration, he decided to support Mr Tharman.

“First, Tharman is a unifying leader. He has transcended race and is a leader for all Singaporeans. The voters of his constituency, in Taman Jurong, have repeatedly given him a thumping majority in the General Elections. The fact that his Singaporean wife, Jane, is part Chinese and part Japanese reinforces his message of inter-racial harmony and multiculturalism”, he wrote.

Prof Koh added that Mr Tharman is “well prepared” to exercise his custodial role over Singapore’s reserves and appointments to key positions in public service because of his own over two decades in the public service.

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He said that he believes Mr Tharman has an independent mind, has moral courage, and will not compromise his integrity. “If faced with an unreasonable request to use our reserves, I believe that he will have the courage to say, no. If asked to approve the appointment of an unqualified person for a key post in the public service, I don’t think he will hesitate to reject the appointment”, Prof Koh wrote.

He said that Mr. Tharman would represent Singapore in an exemplary manner and “fly our flag high”.

“Fifth, Tharman’s wife is a tremendous asset to him. I had appointed her to chair the Singapore Art Museum. She did an excellent job. I was very impressed when she organized at the museum an exhibition of artworks created by our prisoners. She had brought art teachers to teach art to our prisoners. Jane cares for the poor, the disadvantaged and the marginalized. She has a very good heart. For all these reasons, I have decided to support Tharman for President”, Prof Koh wrote.

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Former GIC chief investment officer Mr Ng, former Senior Minister Mr Tharman, and former NTUC Income chief executive Mr Tan filed their nomination papers at the People’s Association headquarters at King George’s Avenue on Tuesday morning (Aug 22).

Singaporeans will go to the polls on Sept 1, a public holiday. All campaigning must stop by Cooling-off Day, which is on August 31.

Read also:

Tharman draws attention to climate change, calls it Singapore’s biggest challenge  

Calvin Cheng predicts a two-horse Presidential race — Tharman and Tan Kin Lian – Singapore News 

George Yeo backs Ng Kok Song’s bid for presidency, amid scrutiny over “Tharman wants it” comment – Singapore News 

Ng Kok Song confident in mounting a good challenge against Tharman – Singapore News 

“Singapore’s presidency a consolation prize for Tharman” — Prominent historian