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“Independent” president hopeful Ng Kok Song indirectly suggests that Tharman is PAP Govt endorsed candidate

Ng Kok Song, Singapore’s presidential hopeful, hints at differential treatment due to his non-government-endorsed candidacy, indirectly suggesting former People’s Action Party (PAP) minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam as the government’s preferred choice.



SINGAPORE: Ng Kok Song, a presidential hopeful, has disclosed that multiple organizations declined his requests for community engagement due to his non-government-endorsed candidacy.

During a media session at the Seah Im Food Centre on Sunday, the 75-year-old Mr. Ng said, “Being an independent candidate without government endorsement means you’re treated differently.”

He contrasted his experience with that of fellow contenders George Goh and Tan Kin Lian.

Former GIC Chief Investment Officer, Ng, is vying for the presidency alongside People’s Action Party (PAP) ex-senior minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, entrepreneur George Goh, and Tan Kin Lian, former CEO of NTUC Income.

Their eligibility to contest in the upcoming presidential election, however, hinges on the approval of the Presidential Election Committee (PEC). The PEC will have to announce its decision a day before the nomination day, scheduled for 22 August.

Highlighting the differential treatment, Ng noted, “Business and civic organizations often steer clear of antagonizing the Government. Yet, the dynamic shifts at hawker centers and wet markets, where the embrace from ordinary Singaporeans is genuinely uplifting.”

With a remarkable 45-year tenure in public service, including roles at GIC (Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore, Ng refuted the notion that all public servants align with the ruling party. His statement was a response to Tan’s remarks from the previous day about unifying the non-establishment vote.

At the Huang Clan Association, Ng emphasized the intricate challenge of guarding Singapore’s financial reserves. He opined, “Candidates must exhibit not just competence but also an unwavering character.”

Interestingly, Ng’s comments indirectly suggest that Tharman – who has been touting himself as an independent candidate – is the government’s choice for president. In line with this, Tharman, a former senior minister of the PAP government, has been noticeably present at various ceremonial events, despite the Election Department’s reminder that the presidency should remain non-partisan.

When questioned about his edge over other candidates, Ng emphasized his political independence, profound knowledge of Singapore’s reserves, and a modest upbringing which he believes helps him connect with the average Singaporean.

Addressing the Elections Department’s reservations about in-person rallies, Ng recognized their concerns but hinted at possibly organizing an online rally. He also conveyed a strong desire to enlighten the youth about financial literacy and entrepreneurship.

Throughout his campaign, Ng has consistently promoted his political neutrality, advocating for a president who remains “independent of any political party to safeguard the integrity of our institutions.”

However, Ng’s 27-year association with GIC, closely tied to the PAP’s political sphere, invites scrutiny. His overlapping tenure with Tharman’s 12-year stint as MAS’s chairman, an institution overseeing GIC, adds to the intrigue.

The substantial S$4.05 billion from Temasek Holdings invested in Ng’s Avanda Investment Management in 2016 further complicates his proclaimed impartiality.

Mdm Ho Ching’s recent accolades for Ng, crediting him with pioneering wealth management training in Singapore, leading to Temasek’s 2003 investment in the Wealth Management Institute, further underlines their shared professional journey.

Is Ng truly the independent candidate he claims to be? Or is his chief motivation, as hinted when he collected his application forms for the COE last month, to ensure Singaporeans can exercise their right to vote and prevent a repeat of the 2017 uncontested presidency?

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I had already mentioned from the very start when Tarman was invited to the event at Geylang Serai. Does he think all these are fair or he has an unfair advantage over other candidates? Shouldn’t he just politely decline such invitations instead of proceeding with same? So on this note, how is he going to be a unifying figure?

By accepting to have an unfair advantage over other candidates shows what type of person he is as contrast to what he or the establishment claimed.


One Person U Cannot Antagonise.

Here, His Wraths.

❤ When Investing with Reserves, do you invest in things with High *Probability* of success or Low Probability of success? What is the Probability a 45 year Establishment top executive have to be Independent of the Establishment? Like most things , there is some Probability but this case its close to but not yet KoSong (Nil in hokkien) . So, if you ask Any Decent or even a half fk Investment Officer, they will tell you Categorically without hesitation, they won’t invest in the KoSong. Its a simple Probability question. You vote such a candidate only if Biased or based… Read more »

Husband endorses TS. Wife endorses NKS. If all is in order in the Reserve Bank why not remove the $500m criteria and let others participate? Isn’t the Presidential election, all about the reserves? No one can hide the truth, continue to stress yourselves, you will kick the bucket trying. Increase heart palpitations? Breathing difficulties? Only the truth will set you free.