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Political Thoughts on PE: Dr Tony Tan elected Singapore's 7th President
Political Thoughts on PE: Dr Tony Tan elected Singapore's 7th President

SINGAPORE: Dr Tony Tan has been elected Singapore's seventh President, winning by a 0.34 per cent margin, or 7,269 votes.

He secured 744,397 or 35.19 per cent of total valid votes, while Dr Tan Cheng Bock received 737,128 or 34.85 per cent of the valid votes.

Returning Officer Yam Ah Mee announced the results following a recount early Sunday morning.

He had allowed the recount as the difference in votes between the two leading candidates was less than two per cent of the total valid votes cast.

Mr Tan Jee Say got 529,732 votes or 25.04 per cent.

Mr Tan Kin Lian obtained 103,931 or 4.91 per cent of the votes. This means he will lose his election deposit of S$48,000.

Some 2.15 million Singaporeans, or 94.65 per cent of registered electors, cast their votes at 781 polling stations throughout the island on Saturday.


As everyone in Singapore knows or those who had stayed in Singapore long enough, much of the media, the labour unions, community groups, clans and business groups are supportive of PAP and thus PAP could in a sense able to gather together various groups in Singapore towards the directions they would want to go.

Such intangible power can be clearly seen in this Singapore Presidential Election 2011 whereby ex-cabinet PAP minister of 27 years, Dr Tony Tan, who was running for President of Singapore this round, was endorsed by 3/4 labour unions, community groups, many clans and business groups as compared against very little such endorsements for the other 3 Presidential candidates.

After observing political upheavals in Tunisia and Egypt, I had always wondered if such political change can come about from the grassroots in a country like Singapore whereby much "soft" power is controlled in a sense despite voting powers in the hands of the citizens of Singapore.

I had wondered and pondered; analysing who will win in this clash of "old" politics and "new" politics of a generation that can skirt so called "control in a sense" of labour unions, media, community groups, clans and busines groups and of a generation who are of more independent minded and who are more knowledgable in this internet world. I could not come to a very conclusive conclusion and need a real test to see the results of such a clash. The win in Aljunied GRC in Singapore General Election 2011 by the opposition cannot be exactly used as a guide for there was a overwhelming desire for more opposition to balance a very skewed unbalanced PAP parliament.

Not forgetting the new immigrants support for ruling party, I wondered too on the new immigrants political support for PAP whether would it helped in any way the ruling party, for the new immigrants tendency is to vote for a political party that opens the door for them.

Thus I awaited in eagerness and sms some friends my predictions and unfortunately lost a coffee + sandwhich to my friend (the sms is still in my handphone though) :- Dr Tony Tan 34.5% +/- 1-2%, Dr Tan Cheng Bock 37% +/- 1-2%, Tan Jee Say 24%, Tan Kin Lian +/- 5%. I had predicted Dr Tan Cheng Bock based on political upheavals in Tunisia and Egypt and based on recent Singapore GE 2011 but I didn't forget Dr Tony Tan, a good, strong and experienced Presidential candidate.

Now that we know the results, my gut feel is that old powers who had painstakingly build up a system over the many years may not be that happy over this 0.34% victory alhough it is still a win. This victory shows that a real good and experienced candidate can and do stand a good chance of toppling any system in place.

As in any election, there will always be a hard core support of approximately 30% for either PAP or opposition and irregardless of whatever bad media or bad campaigning or lousy candidates, this hardcore 30% will support whatever the party throws up, even if the candidate is a clown too, cause they are real hard core supporters. This 30% observation can be easily confirmed by Presidential candidate Tan Jee Say garnering 25.04% of the valid votes plus Presidential candidate Tan Kin Lian garnering 4.91% of the valid votes.

After factoring existing PAP supporters, civil servants, labour unions, clans, community groups, business groups and hardcore supporters observations, it would appear that new immigrants are not necessary hardcore supporters of PAP, they seem to think just like any Singaporeans and select who they think best is suitable to be elected President of Singapore.

One very important observation we should not missed out is that Singaporeans are among the world's most shrewd and wise voters, they really know who to vote and send the right message to the right party. Letters or articles in the media with subtle messages meaning "don't rock the boat" or "need very experienced economic hand" or "be grateful to what is built over the years" were ignored by astute and steadfast voters considering more than 63% voted against Dr Tony Tan. No wonder, Singaporeans are among the most desired immigrants wanted by most countries, after all they are the real talents.

Which is a real pity, considering that our Singapore government appears to be searching for talents everywhere but not on homeground when the real pot of gold is at home ground and real talents not properly groomed or given opportunities.

Let's hope, the Singapore government realises this in this Presidential Election and guard their own treasures, otherwise it is simply a waste of resources to train real talents to see them migrating to other countries. Honestly, sad to say but real "bodoh" (malay for stupid) and real "kooning" (hokkien for sleeping).

Unless of course there are reasons why PAP government is searching for so called overseas talents. (Sigh, some things are best left unsaid or read between the lines why PAP government is focusing more for so called overseas talents; but some readers asked how is it possible not to calculate that the PAP government being smart and elite people are not alert to spot real gems in own back yard. Let's hope this is clear enough without being too obvious.)

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