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The Presidential election quandary: Voices, choices, and Singapore’s fractured democracy

Amid polarized politics resembling the US’s partisan divide, many Singaporeans grapple with who truly represents them, questioning the democratic integrity of the Presidential Election altogether, especially when the alternative choice is not someone they would like to be President.



by Gilbert Goh

Many voters appreciated the fact that Tan Kin Lian stepped up to give the opposition camp an alternative voice during the forthcoming Presidential Election (PE).

If not, it’s a pure contest between two pro-establishment figures, leaving out a proper choice for those who wanted a person from the other side.

Democracy means you have several choices to choose from, and the one who captures the most votes wins the election.

Nevertheless, what if the alternative choice is not someone you would like to be President?

TKL has the most gruelling entry into the fiery fray after a series of posts painted him black with his past social media fiasco on pretty ladies.

Our politics here have also turned very polarised, just like in the US when we have the Republican and Democrat camps and nobody now calls themselves purely an American; it’s just either Democrat or Republican!

In Singapore, we divide ourselves into the white and non-white camps and conversations on politics can turn very ugly when it comes to the PE!

I had an unpleasant argument yesterday with someone on my WhatsApp who suddenly replied out of the line, as most messages haven’t been replied to for well over a year or two.

He insisted that I should vote for TKL as he is the only voice for change, regardless of his background.

I told him that I hadn’t decided yet, and he launched into a series of vitriol which I won’t want to go into in detail.

Singaporeans are probably so fed up now that they would vote for anybody on the opposing side to send a signal that they are unhappy with the status quo regardless of their background and scandals.

Many pro-opposition voters I know are sitting on the fence and still very much undecided on who to vote for, and I reckon that those who want to void their vote in retaliation could figure by the hundreds of thousands.

The PE is a joke by any vague democratic standard, and nobody wants to vote for a state-sanctioned candidate, however eligible he is.

It’s tantamount to a communist country that put up its own choice of leader for a vote internally.

Singapore should constitutionally remove the PE for good least we fall further back into the democratic-status hierarchy, leaving us to be framed as a dictatorial regime.

This was first published on Gilbert Goh’s Instagram page and reproduced with permission

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” The Presidential election quandary: Voices, choices, and Singapore’s fractured democracy “

Why as a Senior Minister he did not speak up ?

The more you say about TKL? the more voters will vote for him. thank you

TKL !!! is still the People’s Choice. People’s President!!

More than $1.5 million salaries is not enough.

$1000 salary can afford HDB flat.

Has he resigned from WEF ? bet he is no going to.

TCB is my first choice but the criteria of $500m, the govt. used to ensure their own candidate wins will make me vote for TKL. Perhaps even LHY was forced out of the country because he qualifies. If TS, who is a lawmaker had any integrity he would have insisted that the criteria be removed. He is respected in his field but has lost the trust of the people. I do not trust anyone affiliated with the PAP be it be TK or KM, they can no more influence the voters as we are the ones having to live with… Read more »

Malicious attackers backed by some powerful dare to attack knowing no one dare to sue them.

But not us.

@Gilbert,TKL was your good friend in Hong Lim Park. Why hesitate?

Voting Tan encourages more participants from the private sectors in the future. Do you want to see a situation like Halimah’s, no Malay in whole of SG to qualify as President?

Do you want our next reserved President from Myanmar or Pinoy?