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Controversy surrounds Presidential Candidate Tan Kin Lian following viral TikTok video on “pretty” girls

A TikTok video spotlighting former NTUC Income CEO and presidential hopeful Mr Tan Kin Lian’s posts about “pretty” girls has stirred controversy as he prepares for the Presidential Election. Amid varied reactions, the Association of Women for Action and Research (AWARE) criticized his “history of objectifying women.”

The Presidential Elections Committee previously endorsed Mr Tan as “a man of integrity” and issued him a certificate of eligibility last Friday. However, on Monday, they clarified that the issuance of the COE does not amount to an endorsement of his social media posts.

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SINGAPORE: A TikTok video showcasing former NTUC Income CEO, Mr Tan Kin Lian’s three Facebook posts about “pretty” girls has amassed over 270,000 views, thrusting him into the spotlight just as he gears up for the Presidential Election.

The video, uploaded by TikTok user spillthetea.sg on Sunday, has sparked diverse reactions from netizens.

One TikTok user questioned the Elections Department’s decision to approve Mr Tan’s eligibility, pointing out that he frequently posts such content.

https://www.tiktok.com/@spillthetea.sg/video/7269003498207988993?q=spillthetea.sg

Despite the controversy, Mr Tan downplayed the significance of his posts in response to queries from Channel News Asia, describing them as “light” and “enjoyable”.

During a recent walkabout at Clementi West’s hawker centre, Mr Tan remarked, “Most of the people say it is quite light, it’s quite enjoyable. That’s how I build my people to be interested.”

He went on to note that only a “small minority” of people are uncomfortable with his posts, adding that he occasionally receives negative comments even for his simple posts about food.

In a Facebook Live on Monday, Mr Tan in response to a comment which questioned the controversy over his Facebook posts, remarked how he doesn’t understand why people are so sensitive. and if they are sensitive, they should just step aside and let the majority opinion prevail.

“If you do something that is lighthearted and most people don’t mind, and a few people objected because they are sensitive, I never cater to these people who want to impose their values on other people.” said Mr Tan.

Nevertheless, the Association of Women for Action and Research (AWARE) has voiced strong objections to Mr Tan’s participation in the upcoming election.

In a statement on Monday, it highlights his “history of objectifying women” and emphasizes the importance of a more holistic assessment process for potential candidates.

In a forceful statement, AWARE noted, “Consistently posting about ‘pretty girls’, recording videos of women in public without their consent, or commenting about their appearance isn’t merely a matter of personal preference or light ‘amusement’. It’s an act of objectifying women.”

However, Jolene Tan, who represented AWARE in 2016 during the Constitutional Commission public hearing, raised concerns over AWARE’s standpoint in a comment under the initial post.

She cautioned against granting the Presidential Elections Committee (PEC) excessive control and discretion in candidate approvals. Tan argued that values should be the domain of the electorate rather than an unaccountable committee.

AWARE’s 2016 stance opposed measures ensuring the election of a minority president, advocating for more inclusive eligibility criteria.

Corinna Lim, Executive Director of AWARE, who was also present at the hearing, proposed adjusting the criteria to consider leaders of organisations with a net asset value of S$50 million to widen the candidate pool.

PEC: Tan Kin Lian, “a man of integrity, good character, and reputation”

Mr Tan, alongside former senior minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam and former GIC chief investment officer Ng Kok Song, received a certificate of eligibility (COE) on Friday for the Presidential Election.

Mr Tan is scheduled to submit his nomination papers on Tuesday.

In their recent press release, the Presidential Elections Committee (PEC) expressed satisfaction with Mr Tan’s character, stating he is “a man of integrity, good character, and reputation”.

In a letter addressed to Mr Tan, PEC secretary Cindy Khoo communicated the committee’s sentiments. They expressed satisfaction after evaluating various facets of Mr. Tan’s professional journey. This included the nature of his tenure at NTUC Income and the company’s overall size and complexity.

Furthermore, they weighed his performance during his time in office. Based on their assessment, they found that Mr Tan’s track record was commendable.

The PEC concluded that his experience and capabilities are equivalent to those of someone who has served as the chief executive of a company with at least S$500 million in shareholder’s equity.

Additionally, such a person should meet the stipulations laid out in Article 19(4)(a) of the Constitution.

It added, “The Committee is also satisfied that you have the experience and ability to effectively carry out the functions and duties of the office of President.”

Mr George Goh, founder of Harvey Norman Ossia, who also announced his intention to contest, however, did not receive his COE.

He applied under section 19(4)(b)(2) of the Constitution, citing his leadership of five companies with a cumulative shareholders’ equity of an impressive S$1.521 billion.

However, the PEC believes that managing multiple smaller enterprises doesn’t equate to the experience garnered from directing a single prominent private-sector company.

Therefore, they concluded that Mr Goh’s five companies did not meet this criterion.

In a statement late Monday, PEC said that the issuance of the COE does not amount to an endorsement of his social media posts.

It noted that it does not go through every applicant’s past social media posts before issuing or declining a certificate of eligibility.

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Don’t care whether you mentioned about pretty girls as long as you are truthful to your own feelings and even old man 80 years also longed for affection and love and appreciate beautiful stuffs.Is better than hipocrites!As long as you don’t do undesirable stuff,it’s okay !Is the same when people say they do charity not out of getting rewards but by saying they not asking for rewards is hipoocritical because they expect rewards in another way.So a ponders of our thoughts.

Mr Romantic Tan kin Lian,will vote for you regardless you going to do anything significant but hope so.Do your family proud.Your grandchildren will say their grandfather did their best for Singaporeans.Will choose you to dampen the confidence of the PAP.Yes nothing else!But I hope to be proven otherwise.

AWARE has an agenda, definitely!

What if TAN KL posted ugly women, AWARE would say he was insulting them!

What if Tan posted men, AWARE would say he is gay.

Don’t you think it is better to post pretty girls!?? Was there any harm done?

This is not smearing. AWARE complained and PEC acknowledged there is an oversight. If this comes to light earlier TKL may not be qualified for not making the good character criteria. He is running for the highest position in Singapore and character reference is very important. He represents Singapore images and has the responsibilities of receiving dignitaries and represents Singapore to visit others. We should ask ourselves why a person of such matured age of 70’s make such Facebook posts about pretty girls? What runs across his mind? Yes, he can like pretty girls, but to post it up and… Read more »

How about our good MP’s like TCJ and CLH? So thick skinned can sit in parliament like nothing going on. Keep on trying harder PAP IBs. Work overtime and overdrive to smear TKL.
Hopefully you get bonus for it but if he wins, hope he takes up lawsuit against you lot.

Who cares?? Lets Move on…. Wife also never complaint. Why so kay poh arh !!

Tharman does not have a very clean past, NKS has a mistress look fiancee, and these have been rampantly talk about. They do not response to these, denial or being defensive. One has to understand when you put yourself forward you are under heavy scrutiny. Your past will be exposed. Being defensive or deny,
trying to explain will only make things worse, showing your guilt or stubborn? This tkl starts to make the matter even bigger by accusing a smear campaign, starts to offend many parties, bodies and people. Smart president candidate? You judge for yourself.

Should he tickle cats.dogs… some young kids? Tis show he is a healthy normal man, young @heart! the other 2 r livin wif MASK, pretendin? Mayb…. canot STAND up for SG!

Why do you need checks and balance if PM & President are from the same party? tsk tsk tsk

Remember vote TKL !!! Cheers !

Those who damaged TKL reputations or make false allegations, be prepared to receive POFMA once he became President. What do you think? LoL

I will never vote for this TKL Lao Chi Ko. I fear for my daughters with him around!

I as lau char bor think there’s nothing wrong.

TKL: I strongly urged you to approached your lawyer friend LT to send out some “nice” letters to these people who spoilt your reputation. If these people persists, then take legal action to safe guard your reputation.

We look forward to you as a Singapore NON-PARTISAN president. Cheers !!!

Dirty lecherous old man. Forgive him though. Let’s vote TKL

Why never speak up when Ministars having in-appropriate relationships? why now then speak? LoL

Let woman like us in Singapore decide if we can take his nonsense at the polls as that really matters. The results will speak. No point to comment till your throat dry here. Anyway thanks to AWARE of making us aware of his behaviour. Let’s see woman here can accept a lecherous president.

It’s totally hypocritical for anyone to criticize him. If you’ve ever checked out a man or a woman walking past you, if have ever idolized a boy (or girl) band, if you’ve ever watched a movie because of a handsome leading man (or pretty leading lady), you have objectified another person!

AWARE, So if one says “PRETTy” 10 to 20 times is objectifying women, Please get a life. Cut out all this wokeism. I

There is a photograph of TS, Bill Clinton, Jeffery Epstein, GCT,GY,TK and Ghislane Maxwell. Why didn’t AWARE raise the objection about TS? Although Jeffery Epstein was an investment banker,he was well known as a proffessional pimp. Prince Andrew was serviced by an underage girl recruited by Jeffery Epstein. Are we to assume that all in the photo were invited to Epstein’s island ? If AWARE did not raise an objection over TS why would they raise an objection over TKL’s videos? Selective persecution? Why do women in Singapore need representation from AWARE? Are we so weak that we are unable… Read more »

Folks, relax lah! Why get worked up and be so puritanical.

Even JTeo advocated good xxx can be productive and done in small space!

We’re talking about electing someone who dares to speak up for ordinary citizens, not choosing a candidate with monk attributes.

Other candidate NKS lagi best has unashamed taste for sweet young thing, almost half his age.

So, what’s the problem???

Making a big fuss over this?

Are the videos obscene? No !
Are the videos bad & vulgar? No!
Are the videos praising the girls as pretty are wrong? No !
Are the videos showing the girls naked? No !

Lets move on..

Anyway I will still vote for you. I love dirty old man.

Tan is essentially too honest and atypical. Humble and too honest and looks atypical. Naturally, easy target for natural bullies online and you-know-who.

I support him but sadly. I learnt as I catch up with all media about him , his atypicalness is made worse by strong conviction and opinions that lacks flexibility to cater to the bigger market share of the middle voters and pap voters.

Very sad. Its not gonna happen. I suspect even wp won’t help

I give up sg politics. Beyond me

Conspiracy Theorists say this looks like an obvious attempt at Character Assassination by the IBs of the establishment candidates. TKL didn’t feature early in this whole PE. He only threw his name in very late in July. In the beginning, there was only TS. When GG threw in his name and he repeatedly stressed the point of Independent president, NKS then suddenly came about, perhaps to “offer” the availability of “an independent president” the people are clamouring. The rule states that one must be at least the CEO of an at least $500m company. Perhaps knowing that GG may not… Read more »

AWARE must be full of single, left-on-the-shelf women bitter that their prettier counterparts have left them without any men to pay them “objectifying” attention.

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