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Singapore Presidential Election 2011.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Read online articles on the upcoming Presidential Election during my lunch break.

The candidates and what they say:

Tan Jee Say (symbol: heart):
1. The primary role of the Elected President is to act as a check on a possible rogue government.
2. Under the Constitution, the president has blocking powers in only five specific areas which include the reserves and key appointment holders.
3. On all other matters, the president has to act on the advice of the prime minister and Cabinet.
4. "I’m not anti—establishment. I’m for Singapore and my views are for the good of the country."
5. He added he estimates his campaign budget would run up to about S$200,000, and he would appeal for donations via his website from Wednesday night.

Dr. Tony Tan (symbol: spectacles):
1. Can help strengthen Singapore’s ability to weather the current financial uncertainties and protect its financial reserves.
2. Will raise issues dear to his heart, such as education, through formal and informal channels.
3. Will also champion the Singapore brand overseas, help raise the profile of local charities and encourage greater participation in sporting, cultural and artistic activities.

Tan Kin Lian (symbol: hand):
1. Intends to influence the government within the Constitution.
2. Views himself as being the only neutral and non—partisan candidate.
3. Wants to follow in the footsteps of the late former president Ong Teng Cheong.
4. Mr Tan said he has a shoestring budget of about S$50,000 for his campaign.

Dr. Tan Cheng Bock (symbol: palm tree):
1. Suggested that policies behind community—based groups like Mendaki, Sinda and CDAC be merged.
2. Dr Tan made clear he didn’t want to interfere in politics.
3. More than 1,000 posters and 200 banners have been printed, and volunteers are keen on securing the most visible spots.

I do not like the idea that Tan Jee Say is asking for $200,000 donation from the public to fund his campaign. The amount seems too large and why can't he fund his campaign himself? I remember reading that he is a multi-millionaire private investor.

I like Dr. Tony Tan's credentials and I know GIC did much better compared to Temasek Holdings in the last recession too. He has the brains but he has always kept a rather low profile. However, his links with the PAP might work against him as the party is not at the height of its popularity now.

I also like Tan Kin Lian as, being familiar with his blog on finance and insurance, he seems to give good advice and cares for the common people. I like how he is campaigning on a shoestring budget of $50,000 and made no mention of asking for donations.

I like Dr. Tan Cheng Bock's honesty and integrity. I remember watching Parliamentary debates on TV in my schooldays and I was always impressed with how he would just speak his mind against policies if he felt it was necessary to do so. I also like his down to earth approach in campaigning. I think this is a good person who seems to be a good balance between Dr. Tony Tan and Tan Kin Lian.

The choice is a tough one. Who will you be voting for?


financialray said...

Hmmm, you forgot the President also has to meet dignitaries of international need to give points for that too...So the image of the wife also very important...
Think also better to have someone who can work with Ah Loong.
Otherwise I learn from Physics it says work done =zero
But then AH Loong says he will work with any one that the people chooses. Just being humble and my mother....obviously want choice A but says anything will do

AK71 said...

Hi financialray,

Haha.. Actually, my sister has the same opinion and told me that Tan Kin Lian's wife really cmi. ;p

financialray said...

I hate to be taken for a ride.
So if the candidate tells me he can do this and that but once become president, things may change when circumstances change. Chinese say Know the Person, Know the Face but you can never know his Heart. After all, think seriously, if the president is collecting 4 million dollars annually, why on Earth would he want to rock the boat and jeopardize his salary. He would want to collect 4 million year after year. Money does indeed make the devil grind the dough for us. Choose wrongly, no big deal but at least do not get taken for a ride by the devil, by then we no choice but to grind dough for him.

AK71 said...

Hi financialray,

Maybe, we should choose who to vote for like how we choose which stock to invest in.

Choose a person with a strong track record in public service? ;)

financialray said...

I think we should choose someone we feel is the best candidate to be the president of Singapore. Not to vote for someone because we have an axe to grind with PAP. It benefits nobody except the person with the ulterior motive.
Just like we do not recommend any stocks to anyone, my hope is everyone do their homework. Do not be made use of. I believe whoever becomes the President, the true colors will show sooner or later and we make a serious choice now so as not to regret. Also, there is no perfect stock, we research carefully and go for the best ones that fits and will benefit us.

Paul said...

Careful, AK. Again you are beginning to sound like you are leaning towards a certain ex-DPM; who is perceived by one and all to be pro-PAP.

And being perceived to be pro-PAP can be a bane to yr social life.

I'm jesting of cos; so dun mind me. :)

I'm amused by a certain Mr. Tan who campaigned in the last GE, quit so that he can enter EP race, and then if he din win EP, will probably join another party to fight the next GE, before quitting to fight the next EP in 6 yrs times. Is he independent as he claimed? Of cos not. He's just anti-PAP.

Another Mr. Tan who is probably the most independent of the lot; but choose to whack his former employer in the most public manner imaginable. Very strange.

As the remaining 2 Tans, regardless of what the sceptics and detractors may say, I respect them for stepping forward. I dun think they have to do it and I certainly do not believe that money is a motivation for them (or for any of the 4 candidates for that matter).

Anonymous said...

Hi! AK,

Tan Jee Say
Pros - ?non-PAP candidate, stood as opposition in last GE, 10 points for courage

Cons - wants to dismantle Temasek (people forget that without Temasek contribution in taxes and profits to consolidated accounts, our direct and indirect taxes would have been much higher). Large GLCs kneecapped some of the private enterprises so indirectly so indirectly make private rich less wealthy and monopolistic

Tony Tan
Pros - outwards appearance looks good for diplomacy, and past contacts in government
Cons - more of the same PAP, and his past record of not busting the limits for tertiary education may cost him

Tan Kin Lian
Pros - says wants more mutual type society akin to Income
Cons - sometimes what he says cannot be implemented

Tan Cheng Bok
Pros - really independent and stood up for Singaporeans record
Cons - sometimes not diplomatic enough to make things go around, he should have done something behind the scene to reverse the name of Jurong General, that would show true power. Resign because of this = ?lame-duck. But then that also means stand up for truth, justice and the Singaporean way.

None of them got moat.
SWOT analysis?

I think overall - Singapore Society is diseased, and we need a cure. It's time to put a doctor back as President - TCB for President.

Conflicted but decided.

AK71 said...

Hi financialray,

You are a voice of reason. Well said. :)

AK71 said...

Hi Paul,

If you have not realised by now, I do not have much of a social life to speak of, much less to damage. How else do I reply to emails and comments from readers in such a timely fashion? ;)

Good luck to all the four Tans. :)

AK71 said...

Hi Anonymous,

I like your analysis and I think Tan Cheng Bock would be a good choice too although I have yet to make my final decision. Will see what all the candidates will say in the coming days.

Maiden comment in my blog? Or did you forget to leave your name or initials on purpose? ;)

rookie said...

TKL did ask for donations in his website. you could have missed it.

AK71 said...

Hi rookie,

Thanks for highlighting this. I have indeed missed it.

Tsk, tsk. How disappointing. :(

rookie said...

No worries. I didnt have much good impression of him in the 1st place. Hearing him talk to media was pretty painful. :P

AK71 said...

Hi rookie,

Yes, TKL does not look or sound very presidential, unfortunately.

Anonymous said...

I do not want another rubber stamp. So my first choice will be voting for Tan Jee Say followed by Tan Kin Lian.

JL said...

It tough to choose. TT & TCB seem better choice but most ppl would see them as pro PAP. Thot TKL would be good as I like the way he help the common ppl but hearing him talk to media change my perception....

AK71 said...

Hi Anonymous,

Good to hear an unconventional view here. Thank you. :)

AK71 said...

Hi JL,

Yes, as president, TKL would have to meet with foreign heads of state and dignitaries. He would be the international image of Singapore.

Unfortunately, sometimes what might seem superficial could be very important.

financialray said...

I guess in the end I will be voting for the one I least dislike.
So far, no president has the foresight to see that Singapore is in a vicious cycle to economic decline over the long term.
Government says we need foreigners because our population is dwindling and there are jobs Singaporeans won't do.
Singaporeans on the other hand not having kids because lack of job security, high housing costs,etc.
Now that Govt reducing foreigners is just a short term measure.
When over the next few years, an aging population that is fast declining will force the govt to take in foreigners again and this time, the people will have no other choice if the economy is shrinking.
LKY has seen the problem. But he says there is nothing he can do if Singaporeans don't reproduce. So over 5-10 years, we are ok but beyond that, good luck to Singapore.

AK71 said...

Hi financialray,

That is a fresh perspective. Vote for the person we least dislike. ;)

The problems you have highlighted are likely to remain problems for some time. LKY would probably not be around by the time they become unmanageable. :(

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