Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Dr Tony Tan: The 'approved' candidate?

Dr Tony Tan is contesting in the Presidential Elections. I'm sure the Committee will approve his candidature. He fits the criteria stipulated for the Presidential Elections.

I have reservations about Dr Tony Tan. He was amongst the Plaintiffs that sued Tang Liang Hong for defamation. He is currently the Chairman of Singapore Press Holdings. The combination of these two facts hardly qualifies him as a defender of free speech. He certainly is not and I am sure he would not pretend to be one.

Freedom of Expression is one of the pet issues that I have against the present government and certainly any Presidential candidate that does not share a value system based on free expression would not get my vote.

The Online Citizen has updated on their facebook wall the following: "you have to defend your name when slandered says dr tony tan in response to what he feels about using defamation suits to quell opposition"

It indicates to me that Dr Tony Tan is essentially the same establishment man that he has always been.

Another update from the TOC FB page: "One of the area I would like to concentrate on is to rally Singaporeans to alleviate the burden of the needy, disabled and disadvantaged" - Dr Tony Tan.

That is pretty much the way that the present government orientates itself. "rallying singaporeans to alleviate the burden of the needy" means Singaporeans have to help themselves through private self-help groups. Don't expect handouts. The same PAP mantra that we have heard all the time. When it comes to social assistance, they are true-blue free market economists. When it comes to social freedoms, they want to control and micromanage as much as they can.

From TOC FB update: "Dr Tony Tan: There is only one power centre in Singapore and that is the elected government of the day. The Elected President is not a rival power centre."

I do not disagree with Dr Tony Tan on this issue of the 'power centre', although I have blogged earlier about an enhanced vocal role for the President. However, the lingo that he has used is the same rehashed official phraseaology. This is just more evidence that Dr Tony Tan is the 'PAP endorsed' candidate for the upcoming elections unless Mr Nathan decides that he wants to go for re-election.

Another issue I have with Dr Tan's candidature is the fact that he was a Cabinet Minister at the time of the infamous Marxist Conspiracy detentions under Operation Spectrum back in 1987.

Certainly not the liberal Presidential Candidate that I am looking out for.


SE said...

Totally agree. While I have tremendous respect for his intellectual and past commitment to SG, he's NOT the kind of President Singapore needs now.

No one is denying the just elected PAP/govt is the power center. Majority 60% have voted them in, so that's a clear and steady hands of continuity for those who are inclined to gradual change. However, what the new and increasingly vocal electorate wants is someone who despite the constitution, can still play a relevant role of being accountable and more transparent in areas that the citizens deserve to know. I'm afraid TT is not the right man for our time. There isn't another 12 years to be kept in the dark as the world gets more complex, the people have the right to be engaged & informed appropriately with our country's reserves. Like LKY, TT belongs to the previous era of governance. Let's move on, and let's step up and play our active part to ensure we have in place an open era of unity, transparency & collaboration (not blind compliance) by our new EP.

Anonymous said...

From TOC:
On why he has stepped to bid for the Presidency, Dr Tan said, “How could I remain a spectator while Singapore faces such complex challenges? How could I not step forward when I know I have more to contribute to the country we all worked to build?”

Sounds awfully a lot like the PAP bogeyman (the world is changing rapidly, you need an experienced pair of hands or else), doesn’t it?

Anonymous said...

If TT is elected as EP; and with LHL being PM, it would mean that Singaporeans are giving a blank cheque to PAP with these two being the only approved signatories. I am scared, very scared if it happens.

TT has been a senior cabinet minister for about 20 years, and at one stage was LKY's preferred successor for the PM post. Yet TT declares with a straight face that he is an 'independent' candidate after just resigning his PAP's membership. Incredibly ironical, isn't it?

I am also puzzled why there is this reluctance or avoidance of being associated with this strong PAP brand name which is synonymous with good, honest and non-corrupt government. Maybe LBH should stop 'saboing' his own colleagues.

Anonymous said...

Stop the hypocrisy and revert the Presidency to be only a ceremonial President. Setting a high criteria for the candidate because he has to look after past reserve, has marginalized our minority race who may has the charisma and academic qualification, to become President.

Seriously, if a government of the day is corrupt, they are many way they can force the President to unlock the reserve to be used or otherwise the country go down under the belly.

The only way to check corruption is to vote in for more Opposition in parliament to check the party in government of the day.

Anonymous said...

In today's New Paper, Dr. Tony Tan said that he would help the poor if elected.

He'd been with the Govt. for 3 decades and never lift a finger to help them.

The poor who hope to get help from him and vote for him will regret their stupidity.

Dr. Tony Tan, please be more sincere in your campaign. Don't be like your PAP days. Your legacy in those days have left hundreds of thousands poor - look at the ST school pocket money, literally a hundred thousand children. Another dozen thousands of senior, bent and crooked from foraging for cardboards and tin cans in rubbish bins.

You never helped them and I don't think you will help them.

So sad....

Anonymous said...

Chances of Tony Tan to be the next president is very very slim as it is very difficult to believe he is an INDEPENDENT Candidate.

Anonymous said...

PAP ministers talking about a "rival power centre" is really just a straw man. If one is not a PAP yes-man, then one must be a rival power centre. That's their devious logic.

Tan Kin Lian for President 2011 said...

Dear Subra, we are from the TKL campaign com, and would like to invite you to our upcoming press conf, could you give me your email address so that I can contact you?