SINGAPORE: Presidential candidate Tan Kin Lian on Wednesday (30 Aug) asserted that the endorsements he received from figures affiliated with alternative parties have not introduced party politics into the ongoing presidential election.
On Sunday (27 Aug), Dr Tan Cheng Bock, a former candidate from the Presidential Election 2011, endorsed former competitor Tan Kin Lian’s campaign in the Presidential Election 2023 (PE2023).
This follows after Mr Tan Jee Say, 69, another candidate from PE2011, acted as Tan Kin Lian’s proposer on nomination day.
Dr Tan is chairman of the Progress Singapore Party (PSP) while Mr Tan Jee Say is a member of the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP).
Lim Tean, the leader of the Peoples Voice (PV) party, has also expressed his support for Mr Tan Kin Lian.
Additionally, several other opposition politicians who participated in the 2020 General Election have been seen accompanying Mr. Tan Kin Lian during his campaign events.
However, the backing from alternative parties to Mr Tan has drawn attack from his fellow contenders.
Ng Kok Song raised doubts about Mr Tan Kin Lian’s assertion of independence on Monday, given his apparent reliance on the backing of opposition figures.
Former senior minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam issued a statement on Sunday, emphasizing his ongoing efforts to encourage fellow candidates to refrain from introducing political dimensions to the election.
Addressing this criticism, Mr Tan Kin Lian said Dr Tan and Mr Tan Jee Say are supporting him as they “share a common vision of a president that is independent of the ruling government”.
He further stated, “As the presidential election is above politics, I respectfully ask the media or political analysts from framing this election as ‘party politics’.”
Mr Tan Kin Lian reiterated his commitment that, if elected, he would fulfil his constitutional responsibilities with an impartial perspective, always prioritizing the welfare of the people.
He summarized his guiding principle as follows: ‘Are these in the interest of the people?’ That’s what an independent president is.”
He made these remarks to the media while visiting volunteers who were distributing his campaign materials