All You Need to Know About the Singapore Presidential Election 2023


The upcoming Singapore Presidential Election is set to take place on September 1, 2023.

The three confirmed candidates for the election are Mr. Ng Kok Song, Mr. Tharman Shanmugaratnam, and Mr. Tan Kin Lian. The nomination papers of these candidates were filed at the People’s Association headquarters at King George’s Avenue on August 22, marking the official commencement of the election process.

Candidates, Statements & Symbols:

Ng Kok Song:

    Presidential candidate Ng Kok Song’s campaign centers around his experience in enhancing Singapore’s reserves and his lack of political affiliation. Here are the key points from his statements:

    • National Treasures: Ng Kok Song spoke about the three national treasures that define Singapore’s exceptionalism, mentioning that he aims to protect these treasures as President.
    • Reserve Protection: Having spent his entire career at GIC and MAS, Ng Kok Song emphasized his ability to protect and manage Singapore’s reserves. He conveyed his expertise in building up these financial assets.
    • Language Skills: The former Chief Investment Officer engaged with the crowd in various languages, including English, Mandarin, Malay, and Tamil, showcasing his connection with the diverse population of Singapore.
    • Experience and Integrity: With 45 years in public service, Ng Kok Song highlighted his qualifications and integrity, stating that he has what it takes to uphold the integrity of public service appointments.
    • Non-Political Affiliation: Ng Kok Song emphasized his lack of affiliation with any political party. He positioned himself as a candidate capable of uniting the people of Singapore, especially in the face of an uncertain future.
    • Humble Appeal: Concluding his speech, Ng Kok Song humbly asked his fellow Singaporeans to choose him as their President. This request was rooted in his commitment to safeguarding the nation’s financial stability, social harmony, and providing non-partisan leadership.

      Tharman Shanmugaratnam :

      Presidential candidate Tharman Shanmugaratnam’s campaign is centered around a fair and honorable contest, with a strong emphasis on Singaporeans and the contributions each candidate can make towards the nation’s future. Here are the key points from his statements:

      • Fair and Dignified Contest: Tharman Shanmugaratnam expressed his anticipation for a “fair, dignified, and honorable contest” during his speech on Nomination Day. He highlighted the importance of maintaining these values throughout the election process.
      • Focus on Singapore’s Future: Tharman emphasized that the focus of the election should be on Singaporeans and the future of the country. He pointed out that it’s the future that citizens are concerned about, and he aims to contribute to shaping a different and more challenging future.
      • Offering Experience and Capabilities: Tharman underscored his readiness to contribute his decades of experience and capabilities, both nationally and internationally, to address the complex challenges that lie ahead. He entered the contest with the intention of utilizing his expertise for the betterment of Singapore.
      • Service with Dedication: Tharman expressed his commitment to serving Singaporeans as President wholeheartedly in the years to come. He highlighted his dedication to the role and his desire to use his capabilities for the benefit of the nation.
      • Acknowledgment of Other Candidates: Tharman recognized the other two candidates in the race, Ng Kok Song and Tan Kin Lian. He appreciated their participation and contributions to the electoral process.
      • Unity and Inclusivity: Tharman reiterated his aspiration for a campaign that brings Singaporeans together rather than divides them. He aimed to foster unity among citizens during the election, reinforcing his commitment to the nation’s harmony.

      Tharman Shanmugaratnam’s campaign seeks to maintain the principles of fairness, dignity, and unity throughout the election process. With a strong focus on Singapore’s future and his extensive experience, he aims to serve Singaporeans as their President with dedication and capability.

          Tan Kin Lian :

          Presidential candidate Tan Kin Lian’s campaign revolves around the concept of offering Singaporeans the opportunity to vote for a President who is genuinely independent from the government. Here are the key points from his statements:

          • Truly Independent President: Tan Kin Lian expressed his aspiration to provide Singaporeans with the choice to vote for a President who is not aligned with the government. He aimed to emphasize his non-partisan stance and the importance of an independent head of state.
          • Constitutional Duties: In his speech following his formal nomination as a candidate, Tan Kin Lian pledged to carry out his responsibilities diligently, honestly, and to the best of his ability, as specified in the Constitution. He emphasized that his core duties as President would be to safeguard the nation’s reserves and uphold the integrity of the public service.
          • Safeguarding Reserves and Public Service: Tan Kin Lian underlined his commitment to preserving the financial reserves of Singapore and ensuring the ethical functioning of the public service. He aimed to provide reassurance to the public regarding his dedication to these crucial aspects of the presidency.
          • Appeal for Support: Concluding his speech, Tan Kin Lian humbly asked for the support of the people. He expressed his desire to fulfill his role to the best of his abilities for the betterment of the citizens he aims to serve.

          Tan Kin Lian’s campaign centers on the values of independence, honesty, and dedicated public service. He seeks to provide Singaporeans with the choice to vote for a President who will uphold the nation’s interests while remaining independent of governmental influence.

          As the Singapore Presidential Election gains momentum, each candidate has chosen a distinct symbol that encapsulates their campaign themes and aspirations:

          1. Ng Kok Song – Hand with a Heart:
            • Symbol: A hand with a heart shape at its palm.
            • Symbol Description: “United for our future”
          2. Tharman Shanmugaratnam – Pineapple:
            • Symbol: A pineapple.
            • Symbol Description: “Pineapple” – ‘Ong lai (pineapple)!’
            • Explanation: Mr. Tharman views the pineapple as the perfect symbol, representing good fortune and a positive future.
          3. Tan Kin Lian – Figures Reaching Up:
            • Symbol: Four figures reaching out toward a mandala.
            • Symbol Description: “Living in harmony”

          These symbols are more than just visuals; they encapsulate the core messages of each candidate’s campaign. Ng Kok Song’s hand with a heart signifies unity for the future, Tharman Shanmugaratnam’s pineapple represents good fortune, and Tan Kin Lian’s figures reaching up reflect a desire to live in harmony.

          In the upcoming Singapore Presidential Election on September 1, 2023, voters will encounter distinctive symbols on their ballot papers. These symbols are among the eight that have been approved by the Returning Officer for use by the presidential candidates.

          Election Details:

          • The Singaporean public will cast their votes for the ninth President on September 1, 2023.
          • This day will be designated as a public holiday to enable citizens to participate in the democratic process and exercise their right to vote.

          Pre-Polling Day Activities in the Singapore Presidential Election 2023

          1. Campaign Period (August 22 to August 30):
          • Official campaign activities begin after the nomination proceedings conclude.
          • Candidates engage with the public through rallies, speeches, and interactions to share their visions and plans.
          1. Cooling Off Day (August 31):
          • A day of reflection before Polling Day.
          • No campaigning allowed to ensure an unbiased environment for voters.
          1. Polling Day (September 1):
          • Citizens cast their votes to elect the ninth President.
          • Polling stations open for voters to exercise their democratic right.
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