Singapore’s political sphere is astir with expectation as the country prepares for its ninth elected presidency.
Former GIC investment chief, Mr Ng Kok Song, 75, former People’s Action Party senior minister, Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam, 66, and former NTUC Income chief, Mr Tan Kin Lian, 75, successfully filed their nomination papers on Tuesday before the noon deadline.
This was announced by the Returning Officer, Mr Tan Meng Dui, at the nomination centre located in the People’s Association headquarters in Jalan Besar.
In his acceptance speech post-nomination, Mr Ng articulated a clear vision for Singapore’s future.
He passionately commits to prioritizing and safeguarding what he considers the city-state’s three defining national treasures: the reserves, public administration’s integrity, and cherished social stability.
“I worked 45 years in the public service. I have what it takes to uphold the integrity of public service appointments.”
His extensive experience also saw him at the helm of the Singapore International Monetary Exchange (SIMEX) – precursor to the current SGX Group – as its founding Chairman.
“I’ve fortified our reserves during my tenure at GIC and MAS. I have the expertise to protect them,” he emphatically stated in his speech.
In a display of unity and outreach, flanked by his fiancée Sybil Lau and ardent supporters, Mr Ng spoke in Mandarin, Malay, and Tamil, rallying the citizenry for their backing in the imminent elections.
Mr. Ng highlighted the nation’s bedrock – social stability, shedding light on Singaporeans’ harmonious existence beyond race, religion, or political biases. “Being neutral from any political affiliation positions me uniquely to unite Singaporeans, steering them through future challenges,” he claimed.
He concluded his impactful address with a sincere appeal, “I implore for the trust and votes of my fellow Singaporeans for these three core reasons.”
Mr Ng served as the Chief Investment Officer of the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation (GIC) from 2007 to 2013. Earlier in his career, between 1985 and 1986, Mr Ng held the esteemed position of Director at the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).
Mr Ng also served on the board of SGX Group from 2013 to 2018. His expertise was also sought by Temasek Holdings, where he was a board member from 2003 to 2005.
Beyond these roles, Mr Ng showcased his entrepreneurial acumen as the founder of the asset management firm Avanda Investment Management which received a staggering US$3 billion (S$4.05 billion) from Temasek Holdings in 2016 to manage.
With the nominations of the three presidential hopefuls accepted, the candidates are geared up for a rigorous campaign, culminating in the pivotal polling day on 1 September, now marked as a public holiday.