Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Puzzled by Tan Jee Say's presidential promises

Here's a forum letter to The Straits Times. It shows how Tan Jee Say is acting as a proxy of the SDP in running for the Presidential race.

I AM curious about the reasons behind Mr Tan Jee Say's motivation to serve Singaporeans ('Another Tan enters the fray'; last Saturday).

The investment adviser has resigned from the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP). Yet he continues to promote his five-year $60 billion National Regeneration Plan, which he lobbied for as an SDP candidate at the hustings for the recent general election, in his presidential bid. Has he confused the role of Singapore's head of state with that of an opposition MP?

If he is elected president, Mr Tan is reported to have stated that he plans to turn the grounds of the Istana into a central park. As far as I know, no country in the world, including the United States, has done this for the official residence of its titular head.

Security is a key consideration. There is also the dignity of the office. Imagine a foreign dignitary being met by sweaty joggers on his way to an official meeting with our president and prime minister.

Singaporeans may want a president who is not merely a rubber stamp for government policies, but it is just as important that we do not elect someone who rolls out populist schemes to appeal to the masses.

Toh Cheng Seong

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