Yesterday, the Strait Times reported about Mr Tan Kin Lian’s political ambitions and that he was mulling a bid presidency of Singapore. This announcement was kind of unexpected mainly because Mr. Tan had never announced any intention to run for public office, and the man was a member of the People’s Action Party for 30 years. Bidding for office means that a PAP stalwart is now going against the party’s leadership.
However what really surprised me when reading the article was that Mr. Tan indicated a sense of disappointment at the current leadership of the PAP. Mr. Tan said that the PAP is now too far from ordinary Singaporeans and no longer in touch with the ground.
Now I think Mr. Tan is somewhat right on this. The current leadership of the PAP is filled with scholars and people who got their education overseas. How much do they know about ordinary Singaporeans? Mr. Tan is also quite popular with Singaporeans nowadays as he was the lone PAP voice who stood up for the investors in the ongoing Lehman minibonds saga.
So why do I think he SHOULDN’T run for presidency?
I think he shouldn’t run because chances are that he would not be ‘qualified’ to run for the presidency. Mr. Tan seems to know this and is trying to offset this by collecting 100,000 signatures from Singaporeans. He is clearly trying to indicate that he has genuine grassroots support to contest the presidency.
I highly doubt that it will matter. If the PAP doesn’t want you to contest the election, then chances are that you are not ‘qualified’ to run for the presidency. So unless Mr. Tan get an okay from the PAP leadership, I think he has no chance to contest for the presidency. If Mr. Tan has any political ambitions, I think it would be more viable for him to join an opposition political party and contest in a General Election. That way at least, he can be certain to be on the ticket.
Considering his popularity nowadays, I believe Mr. Tan can make a big splash on the Singapore political scene but that’s only if he can stand for election. And the chances of Mr. Tan being a candidate for a Presidential Election is low at best.
That’s why I think he should forget about the Singapore presidency and concentrate on the next General Election. The chances for him will be much better there.