Singapore’s Presidential Election 2023 took an interesting turn when Mr Alex Tan Tiong Hee, formerly an assistant to a disqualified presidential hopeful, has now aligned himself with former NTUC Income CEO, Tan Kin Lian (TKL).
Mr Alex Tan has been aiding TKL in his morning walkabouts ever since the latter threw his hat into the ring.
Mr Alex Tan’s change of allegiance followed the disqualification of businessman George Goh from the presidential race.
The Presidential Elections Committee announced that Mr Goh failed to secure a certificate of eligibility, leaving his team of volunteers, including Mr Alex Tan, wondering about their next move.
Expressing his initial disbelief and disappointment on his Facebook page, Mr Alex Tan reminisced about his decades-long acquaintance with TKL, which dates back to 1977.
While TKL’s last-minute decision to join the presidential race was initially seen with skepticism, TTH now views it as an “opportunity”, likening TKL to a “lifeboat” in what he perceives as a tumultuous political landscape.
He elaborated, “The ship of democracy IS SINKING! But alas! – the gift of heaven that gave forth the manna to the hungry and dying Israelites – has come to salvage so fortuitously a lifeboat in Tan Kin Lian. Phew! Why not? So that’s how I re-opened my friendship with Kin Lian – and our LIFEBOAT!”
This isn’t Mr Alex Tan’s first venture into the political arena. He previously assisted Dr Tan Cheng Bock (TCB), founder of the Progress Singapore Party (PSP) and a former People’s Action Party MP, during the Presidential Election 2011, a race in which TKL also participated.
Furthermore, Mr Alex Tan had supported TCB in preparation for the PE2017 before TCB was disqualified due to constitutional amendments in 2016.
Currently, besides accompanying TKL on his morning engagements, Mr Alex Tan is also actively involved with an initiative by Singapore civil society offering non-partisan election monitoring to ensure transparency and fairness in the electoral process.
As Singapore gears up for its election day, alliances such as these underscore the dynamic nature of politics, where past competitors become present-day collaborators in the pursuit of shared goals.