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ELD and IMDA clarify role of President after having Tan Kin Lian remove parts of his broadcast speech

The Elections Department and IMDA pinpointed “inaccuracies” in Mr. Tan Kin Lian’s presidential speech concerning the President’s constitutional duties. Following Tan’s objections to speech truncations, the agencies emphasized the imperative for accurate representation of the presidential role, urging candidates not to mislead the public.



The Elections Department (ELD) and the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) released a joint statement on Thursday (24 Aug), highlighting “inaccuracies” within the presidential candidate broadcast speech of Mr Tan Kin Lian.

These corrections came to light after certain sections of his speech allegedly misrepresented the Singaporean President’s constitutional role.

The clarifications followed Mr. Tan’s public statement earlier in the day.

He expressed discontent, saying, “IMDA did not have the authority to interpret the constitution in a narrow way.” He voiced concerns over the truncation of what he considered the most crucial segments of his address.

The ELD and IMDA clarified that candidates were informed about broadcast timings and rules on 12 August and were subsequently briefed on Monday. It’s obligatory for candidates to submit their script drafts in advance for review.

The joint statement elaborated on the specifics, “Mr Tan Kin Lian’s original script had inaccuracies about the President’s role. He incorrectly suggested that the President could guide the reserves’ investment strategies and influence government policies.”

After these inaccuracies were identified, Mr Tan’s election agent made corrections without any objections, said the two agencies.

Mr Tan, on his campaign website, wrote, “I did not have the time to argue about the removal of these paragraphs. I will bring it up to IMDA separately.”

Highlighting the importance of role accuracy, ELD and IMDA emphasized that all presidential aspirants signed a statutory declaration during their nomination, acknowledging their understanding of the President’s constitutional duties.

This declaration includes detailed guidelines on the powers and limitations of the President’s role.

According to the provided explanatory material, the general oversight and control of the government are vested in the Cabinet.

Furthermore, the President must publicly express views in alignment with the Cabinet’s advice, especially when commenting on legislation or government policy.

The two agencies note that the President cannot voice opinions on legislation or government actions unless explicitly advised by the government.

Additionally, the candidates have also committed to a voluntary undertaking, emphasizing the need for a campaign approach that mirrors the dignity, decorum, and the overarching stature of the Presidential position.

Both agencies underscored the importance of accurate representation, stating, “We remind all candidates not to mislead the public about the President’s role.”

Defending his truncated speech, Mr Tan stated that he wasn’t trying to mislead voters with unrealistic promises.

He stressed that he had consistently made clear in numerous statements that he would leverage the presidency to communicate citizens’ sentiments and concerns to the government.

Mr Tan remains optimistic about persuading the prime minister and the cabinet to adjust existing policies for the benefit of Singapore’s citizens.

The three presidential candidates, former GIC investment chief, Mr Ng Kok Song, 75; ex-senior minister of the People’s Action Party, Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam, 66; and Mr Tan will deliver their 10-minute speeches across 19 free-to-air television and radio channels in all four official languages on 24 and 30 August at 7 pm.

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In relation to the question on “Blank Votes” can anyone out there give your opinion as to whether there exists a brand of “ink” which would turn colourless within a short period of time after it is applied as a print on special paper.As we now know a new device has been introduced to assist voters mark the little “box” in the ballot paper.What do you think???

While some polling info available online, i cannot find any info on whether are Polling Agents eyes on the boxes throughout the entire process including during the transportation by Police? I am not suggesting what can be the weakest link. I never said that. Neither am I worried about the TanJong Pagar double printing of polling cards. Duplicate ballots. What mechanism Guarantees there can be no swapping? To be clear, I am talking about the process since we need it be bulletproof for future govt in case it turns rogue. Do you have good answers?

Sure upset, populist message cannot broadcast and get across. Less votes winning power. Work within your means. If really want to help, participate in GE.

❤ I never have a sg leader I elected. 56 years old. Country 58 years old. The Majority will never change and so do I. So it’s not gonna change in my life. I have no country and does not like the mindset of majority. Dirty Politics and Extreme KiaSu.
Who wants to buy my citizenship let me know. Oh, I forgot, it has no resale value.😢

TKL : Win first , Talk later to them

All the best.