SINGAPORE: The second and last presidential candidate broadcasts commenced at 7 pm on Wednesday(30 Aug), the eve of the cooling off day of the 2023 Presidential Election (PE2023).
The three Presidential candidates: Mr Ng Kok Song, the former GIC investment chief; Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam, a former senior minister of the People’s Action Party; and Mr Tan Kin Lian, the former NTUC Income chief—addressed their fellow Singaporeans, conveying their respective messages.
The first to speak was the 75-year-old Tan Kin Lian. He underscored the imperative role of the President as the Head of State, must not be afraid to exercise independent thinking and not be afraid to stand alone for what is right.
He recounted the various instances throughout his life where he had to navigate challenging situations alone.
For instance, when many investors lost their savings by investing in bad financial instruments in the past, he was not afraid to stand up on their behalf to ask questions.
“It takes courage, tenacity and resilience to ask these difficult questions and make people accountable for their actions, ” Mr Tan asserted.
During his address, Mr Tan once again expressed his genuine empathy for the ordinary citizens of Singapore.
He recounted his interactions with many individuals who have shared their struggles stemming from the recent escalation in the cost of living.
He specifically underscored the plight of young Singaporeans, revealing that numerous among them have expressed their reluctance to consider marriage due to the exorbitant housing costs and the formidable challenge of securing stable, well-compensated employment.
“If I am elected as president, I will act independently of the government and do my best to convey the views of the people to the government and help the government to find out ways to make life better for the people. ”
While Mr Tan aware that the president does not have the executive authority on these matters, he believes it is possible to achieve these goals by using the soft influence and prestige of the president’s office.
“I hope to work in collaboration with the government to achieve our common goals for the benefit of Singapore. ”
“As President, I will champion the well-being of Singaporeans, and always put the people’s needs above my own, to help make a better life for all of you.”
Mr Tan further reiterated his unwavering commitment that, if elected, he would fulfil these responsibilities with utmost dedication, honesty, and to the best of his abilities.
Tan Kin Lian affirms core Presidential duties
He acknowledged the two utmost important duties of President, which are to safeguard the past reserves and uphold the integrity of the public service.
“The President must always put the needs of the country and the people first. He must be committed to the duties and responsibilities of this high position, understand the needs of the common man and serve without fear or favor.”
“The President is also responsible for safeguarding our past reserves. In order to do so, he must possess independent thinking, good financial knowledge and a strong sense of integrity and accountability to the people.”
He also provided reassurance to his constituents, drawing attention to his accomplished background as a trained actuary and his tenure as the chief of NTUC Income for three decades.
He highlighted a notable track record of prudent investment decisions that have significantly enhanced the lives of countless individuals.
Specifically, he mentioned overseeing the growth of assets from S$28 million to an impressive S$17 billion, representing a staggering increase of 600 times over a span of 30 years.
He expressed confidence that his accumulated expertise would prove invaluable in fulfilling the pivotal responsibility of safeguarding the nation’s past reserves.
A heartfelt apology and commitment to mindfulness
During his speech, Mr Tan Kin Lian openly shared his modest and humble origins, emphasizing his deep connection to family values and profound gratitude for his own kin.
He firmly committed to upholding these essential family principles, which he viewed as the cornerstone of any society.
As an active and outgoing person, Mr Tan said he likes to share about his daily activities and observations of everyday life, but he reiterated that he had never meant any disrespect to the people he encountered, and again delivered his sincere apologies.
“To all those who have found any of what I have said in the past upsetting or inappropriate, I would like to sincerely apologise for it. I will be more mindful of what I say in the future. ”