Tharman Urges Candidates to Keep Politics Out of Presidential Race : Here’s Why


Presidential candidate Tharman Shanmugaratnam has called on his fellow candidates to uphold the non-political nature of the Presidential Elections, in response to recent endorsements of candidate Tan Kin Lian by opposition members.

Dr Tan Cheng Bock, the chairman of the Progress Singapore Party (PSP), recently endorsed Tan Kin Lian’s candidacy, prompting a reaction from Tharman Shanmugaratnam’s campaign team.

In response to media queries a spokesperson for Tharman Shanmugaratnam’s campaign said “Mr Tharman has consistently urged, with respect to all his fellow candidates, that we avoid politicising the Presidential Elections,” the spokesperson stated.

“The focus should be on each candidate’s individual character, breadth of experience, and ability to contribute to Singapore’s future as the head of state.”

In addition to Dr Tan Cheng Bock’s endorsement, other opposition politicians have also expressed their support for Tan Kin Lian’s bid for the presidency. Tan Jee Say, a member of the Singapore Democratic Party, has taken on the role of Mr. Tan Kin Lian’s proposer.

Moreover, Lim Tean of the People’s Voice party and Goh Meng Seng of the People’s Power Party have both publicly voiced their endorsement for Tan Kin Lian.

Responding to these endorsements, presidential candidate Ng Kok Song criticized the involvement of opposition members in the election process.

Ng Kok Song, a former chief investment officer of GIC, suggested that these endorsements by opposition figures are an attempt to confuse and polarize Singaporeans by injecting partisan politics into the Presidential Election. Ng Kok Song emphasized that the office of the President is meant to remain non-partisan, and any attempt to politicize it disrespects the integrity of the position.

“It is a very unhealthy and worrisome development in this Presidential Election; the people concerned are confusing the people of Singapore,” said Mr Ng Kok Song in his recent statement.

“Confusing (them) between a Presidential Election and a General Election.” 

As the campaign continues to unfold, the spotlight remains on the candidates and their commitment to maintaining the non-political nature of the Presidential Elections. With endorsements from opposition members becoming a topic of contention, the focus on the individual qualities of the candidates and their potential contributions to Singapore’s future as head of state remains crucial.

residential candidate Ng Kok Song reaffirmed his call for a non-partisan presidency on Sunday, asserting that the President should remain independent of any political party affiliation or endorsement. He emphasized that the recent developments, such as endorsements by opposition figures, contradict the Constitution’s spirit, which stipulates that the President should not be aligned with any political party. Ng urged Singaporeans to distinguish between the Presidential Election and a General Election to avoid confusion.

Meanwhile, former Senior Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, who retired from politics and government positions in July, has also officially stepped down from the ruling People’s Action Party.

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