SINGAPORE: The Progress Singapore Party (PSP) has clarified that it has “no plans” to endorse or provide support for any presidential candidate, following the circulation of an email inviting party volunteers to serve as counting agents for Presidential candidate Mr Tan Kin Lian.
On Tuesday (29 Aug), in response to Singapore’s media outlet CNA’s queries, the PSP asserted that the email “was drafted at the initiative of an individual. It was not an approved communication”.
CNA reported that the email characterized the upcoming Presidential Election as a “golden opportunity” to understand voters in various constituencies.
Volunteers were encouraged to participate as counting agents, a role that contributes to the party’s acquisition of voting data, deemed “important for our next (General Election)”.
The PSP affirmed that the President, as a symbol of Singapore’s unity, is expected to remain impartial and non-partisan.
“The PSP supports these principles, and thus has no plans to endorse or support any candidate in the upcoming Presidential Election. Individuals, however, are free to support any candidate they wish in their personal capacities,” it added.
Civil society members invite committed Singaporeans to uphold democracy by registering as polling and counting agents
Led by civil society members, an initiative aimed at fortifying democracy has rallied committed Singaporeans to volunteer as Polling and Counting Agents on Polling Day (1 September) for the Presidential Election E2023.
Polling agents will be entrusted with overseeing the voting procedure at specific polling agents.
Simultaneously, counting agents will be responsible for recording the station results, guaranteeing that our electoral process upholds its integrity and transparency.
The vote-counting exercise, organized by members of civil society, is not specifically in support of Mr Tan Kin Lian, a candidate in the upcoming Presidential Election. It’s an exercise in active citizenry.
Nonetheless, Mr Tan endorses this initiative, which hinges on his candidacy, championing transparency, and has given permission for the results to be shared publicly.
With 1,264 polling stations islandwide, the group will need over 2,000 volunteers to man the stations across two shifts. This doesn’t even account for the counting stations.
As of Tuesday (29 Aug), 463 individuals have already enrolled.
- Cannot be a student attending primary or secondary school.
- Mustn’t have an order of supervision under the Criminal Law (Temporary Provisions) Act (Cap. 67).
- Cannot be an undischarged bankrupt.
- Must be a Singaporean citizen.
Singaporeans who wish to be part of history and help shape Singapore’s democratic future, are encourage to register via this Google Form.
Dr Tan Cheng Bock endorses Tan Kin Lian in his personal capacity
On Sunday (27 Aug), Dr Tan Cheng Bock, the party’s Chairman who is also a former candidate from the Presidential Election 2011, endorsed former competitor Tan Kin Lian’s 2023 presidential Election campaign.
At the following press conference, 83-year-old Dr Tan has repeatedly stressed that he is speaking in his personal capacity as a previous presidential contender, and extended his endorsement to Mr Tan Kin Lian.
He emphasized their shared vision, referring to their bond as that of “comrades.” Dr Tan accentuated the need for an “independent president” and underscored the president’s crucial role in overseeing the nation’s reserves and ensuring the country’s competent governance.
Hinting at potential risks posed by establishment-aligned candidates, Dr Tan stated, “Somebody who’s with the establishment… maybe makes them very uncomfortable if they choose to take decisions contrary to what the establishment people want.”
Dr Tan passionately appealed to the voters to choose wisely by saying, “So today (27 Aug) I want to plead with you to stand for what is right. Love your country by supporting the cause for an independent president. Your one vote counts; remember, your one vote counts. Make it worth it.”
Mr. Tan Jee Say, 69, another candidate from PE2011, acted as Tan Kin Lian’s proposer on nomination day.
In the 2011 presidential election, Dr Tan received 34.85% of the votes, Mr Tan Jee Say secured 25.04%, and Mr Tan Kin Lian obtained 4.91%.
Dr Tony Tan clinched the victory with 35.2% of the votes, subsequently becoming Singapore’s seventh president with a narrow margin of 0.35%
Out of the three, Mr Tan Kin Lian is the only one eligible to run for president in 2023 as the criteria for private sector candidates was raised from S$100 million paid-up capital to S$500 million shareholders’ equity in 2016.
Singaporeans to cast their vote on 1 September
The Singapore Presidential Election 2023’s Polling Day is set for 1 September, designated a public holiday by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM).
There are a total of 2,709,455 eligible voters in the updated voter rolls – an increase of over 55,000 people from the 2,653,942 electors in GE2020.
Singaporeans will be voting to elect their ninth president from three candidates: the former GIC investment chief, Mr Ng Kok Song (75); former People’s Action Party senior minister, Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam (66); and the former NTUC Income chief, Mr Tan Kin Lian (75).