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Do you agree that Tan Chuan-Jin will play a bigger role in future?
Do you agree that Tan Chuan-Jin will play a bigger role in future?

I wondered how leaders would react: Tan Chuan-Jin

SINGAPORE - To this Member of Parliament, political leadership boils down to one simple mantra: Do what is right.

That was why Brigadier-General (NS) Tan Chuan-Jin was the first among the People's Action Party (PAP) cadres to explicitly state, at his May 4 lunchtime rally at UOB Plaza, that the ruling party has to change in order to retain the "moral authority" to lead.

It was at this same rally that the Prime Minister surprised many with his apologies about the Government's shortcomings.

"When I crafted my speech, I did wonder how the party leadership would take to it," the Marine Parade Group Representation Constituency (GRC) MP told Today during an interview after his first Meet-The-People Session on Tuesday.

After some pondering, he went ahead with it.

"It was something I've expressed all along; even during my interviews to enter politics in mid-2008, I had given my feedback (that the way the party does things had to change) frankly. So with the best of intentions, I felt that it was something that needed to be said," he told Today.

A transformation within the PAP has become a buzzword in the aftermath of the ruling party's loss of Aljunied GRC.

Despite the incumbent team, led by Foreign Minister George Yeo, pledging to drive the change from within if re-elected, voters eventually plumped for the Workers' Party's team.

For BG Tan, 42, the signals of public "frustration, angst perhaps" against the Government's perceived lack of consultation or high-handedness were evident to him even when he was being considered for candidacy.

"Obviously you hear it from friends, family, so that was something I was very conscious of," he said.

What he knew, from such signals, was the need for a "new social compact" in this vastly different socio-political landscape.

"When I decided to come in, I was quite clear in my mind this was not a trivial matter ... it cannot be business as usual ... the way we did things needed to be adjusted because, at the end of the day, you need the support and the mandate of the people, and to earn their trust and their respect," he said.


A writer contacted us to share his/her view that there is > 80% chance that Mr. Tan Chuan-Jin will play a bigger role in the future? This writer claimed that he has listened to Mr. Tan Chuan-Jin's interview plus study his speech and his background and come to the conclusion there is > 80% chance Mr. Tan Chuan-Jin will play a bigger role in the future 4th generation of leaders. He appears to be the best of the lot in this recent batch of PAP introduced MPs. 2nd rank should be medical doctor Chia Shi Lu. His advice to opposition candidates is to avoid contesting where these 2 persons are being fielded where possible. Do you agree with his assessment and prediction? What are your views?
Looks like MG Chan Chun Sing form Tanjong Pagar has leap-frogged over him. It does not pay to be so outspoken in {AP. Maybe he could join the opposition and be a real test for political freedom in Singapore.

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