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George Yeo discloses PM Lee Hsien Loong’s invitation to contest 2011 Presidential Election

Former PAP Cabinet minister George Yeo reveals PM Lee Hsien Loong approached him for the 2011 Presidential Election.

Detailed in his book, Yeo felt “temperamentally unsuited” for the role. This comes as Tharman Shanmugaratnam resigns from government roles, aiming for the Presidency.

Yeo’s revelation raises a serious question. Did PM Lee also approach Halimah Yacob and Tharman similarly?



SINGAPORE: In a recent revelation, former Cabinet minister George Yeo shared that Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong approached him to be a candidate for the 2011 Presidential Election.

Detailing this in his forthcoming book, George Yeo: Musings, Yeo recalls, “I was among a few whom PM Lee thought could beat Tan Cheng Bock.”

After the Aljunied GRC loss in 2011, Yeo stated, “I told PM Lee I was ‘temperamentally unsuited to be president’, and would only do it out of duty, not ambition.”

He further added, “I then said he could treat me as a spare tyre to be used only in an emergency.”

Dr Tony Tan, a former People’s Action Party (PAP) minister and the party’s preferred candidate, narrowly won the 2011 presidential election by a margin of just 0.35% over Dr Tan Cheng Bock, another former PAP MP.

As the 6th Presidential Election looms, Yeo, now 68, reflected on his decision, stating to CNA and TODAY, “I was right to make that decision early.”

He further elucidated the complexities of the presidential role, saying, “It’s a tough job. You have to work within prescribed boundaries.”

Interestingly, Yeo has decided to be a character reference for Ng Kok Song, a presidential hopeful. Yet, he maintains his impartiality by highlighting his long-standing camaraderie with another potential candidate, Tharman Shanmugaratnam.

He said, “I said I don’t want to take sides on this, but I’d be happy to be a character reference. I can be Tharman’s character reference too, but he doesn’t need me.”

Current Singapore President Madam Halimah Yacob’s entry into the Presidential race in 2017 also had its hints.

In a memorable Parliamentary session, Minister Chan Chun Sing mistakenly addressed Mdm Halimah, who was then Speaker of Parliament, as “Madam President,” not once but twice, sparking speculation about her candidacy.

Mdm Yacob confirmed these speculations when she stated on 6 August 2017, “I would be stepping down as Speaker of Parliament to run for the presidency.”

She was widely perceived as the PAP’s candidate and later won the Presidential seat with a walkover on nomination day after her two potential opponents were denied the Certificate of Eligibility because they did not meet the high standards for private sector candidates introduced in November 2016.

Fast forward to 2023, Tharman Shanmugaratnam announced his resignation from all government roles, emphasizing his position as an independent candidate for the upcoming election.

On this, Yeo’s revelation sparks curiosity: Did PM Lee have similar discussions with Mdm Halimah and also Tharman?

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Waiting for Halimau to disclose same offer. Or was it an ORDER in her case? Ie: either accept (a guaranteed walkover) presidential post OR ELSE lose her Speaker of Parliament post.

GY at this critical moment when PE is around the corner, threw a “thunderflash” to scare LHL so as to destroy his plan….lol.

Will he ban GY’s new book???

NKS just lowered his chances by using a former PAP general as a character reference. PAP cronies are failing to understand that the ground is saying no to the PAP. Soon the PAP is going to become a four letter word in Singapore.

Wrong post earlier in another article. Here the correct one : 🌈 Reserves being kept a secret is a double-edged sword which NKS and govt cannot address: 1. You say to avoid enemy attack. A boy can say that. But keeping it secret does not stop an attack. Furthermore, there is a ballpark known already. There is No Need to hide the reserves as there is a ball park figure already known to countries. And super powers can still attack because they always have much more than sg.😅 2. The Risk is a rogue govt can use this excuse to… Read more »

So candidates are appointed? 🤣

This smart alec really has nothing else better to do than tells tall story about his past achievements and proud revelations! Why do we care?

How come he never stay back and try to win back Aljunied from LTK? Instead he quickly scooted off to HK and is a real let down for those who had voted for him.

You tell me how to trust this sort of chap if he is to be the commander during war who lacks tenacity and fighting spirit in the first place?

STFU lah

In the mths when HELL GATE open 4 SG election on 4 candidate. 1 to b chosen on the death mth 2 lead SG! Well 4 DEATH planned 2 let the only dark botak tat dun believe in Wind & Water….

T/man is Loony’s boy, without doubt.

A white coat never changes their color!

Good mind and speaker for events.
Not good for down to earth, kampong people.

He should go live in Geneva, hob-nob with all the
academics, politicians, EU pen pushers.

Bring Kishore along…
and please take LHL your old buddy with you..
Leave Ho Ching behind… we have odd jobs for her.

Can you just disappear

This Aljunied loser still thinks he is a big deal with his so called musings writing that the whole world is dying to read. Just a load of craps.

What has he done and contributed significant so far for Singaporeans?

GY is basically an airy fairy and self conceited paper general who’s still seeking attention

Good riddance