Home » Uncategorized » So Tony Tan Can Say Anything To Sell Koyok For His EP Bid, But the Same By Other Aspirants Earns Them A Rebuke From The Ruling Estab?

So Tony Tan Can Say Anything To Sell Koyok For His EP Bid, But the Same By Other Aspirants Earns Them A Rebuke From The Ruling Estab?

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The EP According To Jayakumar

According to Jayakumar  as reported in the ST on 10 June 2011, some would-be candidates had “implied that they thought the president was “a centre of power unto himself, distinct from the govt of the day”, and had “certain executive powers”….” 

He pointed out that the president had only “discretionary, custodial power” in five areas:…Even in these five areas, the president had only blocking powers, and was not allowed to initiate decisions or policies, he said.

The EP According To Law Minister Shanmugam

According to Shanmugam as reported in the ST on 11 June 2011, the president has “no role to advance his own policy agenda”, as policymaking and the running of govt are the preserve of the prime minister and the Cabinet. “ This is so for all policies, whether they concern security and defence, immigration and population, or housing and social safety nets,” he said.

The EP According To Tony Tan

According to Tony Tan as reported in the ST on 17 June 2011: He had decided to run because he believed Singapore’s next president may have to make significant decisions that affect the security and well-being of all Singaporeans amid a challenging global landscape.

There is every reason to doubt that it is genuinely Tony Tan’s own initiative to enter the EP race.  He is again being pressed into service because the PAP feels it is in mortal danger, post-GE2011, of being further weakened if an EP in the mould of Ong Teng Cheong gets elected.  Tied to this is the very likely likelihood  that incumbent, Nathan, really wants to go.

With these words of his, Tony Tan gives the appearance of giving notice to the govt that he intends to initiate policies as well as to set his own agenda if he is elected, despite the  explicit warning already issued by the ex- and current Law Ministers that these are OFF-LIMITS as far as the current ‘brief’ of the EP is concerned. According to the pair, the EP is not allowed to initiate decisions or policies as these are the ‘preserve’ of the PM and his cabinet.  

If neither Jayakumar nor Shanmugam feels compelled to react to Tony Tan’s words in the next few days, a couple of things would be apparent to the public. Namely,

a. What they have claimed as forbidden or out-of-bounds areas for the EP, is not Gospel!

b. TT enjoys special privileges and treatment from the govt compared to the other  EP aspirants.  TT is therefore not as ‘independent’ as he wants to claim to be. But of course, we all already know he is the de facto choice, the poster boy for EP, of the PAP govt after George Yeo dropped out, realizing his own untenable position due to what he had said in the heat of the GE hustings. (GY painted himself into a corner with remarks like vowing to transform the party and  the ” I am a free spirit” comment with regard to the EP.)  

As for the reason behind TT saying those things? IMO, he has to do that in order to be able to compete with the other two potential candidates whose popularity and appeal is very much grounded in their campaign platforms of aspiring to be the people’s president. 

However, we should be discerning enough to note that what distinguishes TT’s words from the other two candidates is that his words are really hollow, vague and non-committal, a fond technique of the govt, which sounds big even bombastic but in reality, hollow and empty. Witness: He said “the president may have to make significant decisions that affect the security and well-being of all Singaporeans amid a challenging global landscape.” If you ask me, these words, in themselves without elaboration, are hollow motherhood statements and very much missing the whole point! The whole point being we want a president that is in the mould of our late President Ong Teng Cheong and not a govt ‘yes-man’ which is what the incumbent is a prime example of. 

TT’s statement of ‘intent’ is merely grand sounding rhetorics! In any case, he would be intruding into the “preserve  of the PM and cabinet”, to quote Shanmugam!  

Some are more equal than others - George Orwell (Animal Farm)

As I have noted in an earlier post, there is also a conflict of interest if he becomes the EP. It is highly questionable and doubtful that he would be objective with respect to the GIC where he had left his mark as the dy chairman and executive director.

IMO, if TT really has the interests of Singapore and Singaporeans at heart, he should walk away from this contest.



  1. snkbc says:

    TT job is to be the external auditor to audit his own account and keeping it quiet from the public.

  2. chi says:

    Agree with above reader’s post & your assessment. I believe alot of people felt the same way. He’s the appointed man from PAP. The question asked to him was “Did the govt ask you to run/stand” He said the answer is no.
    Perhaps a better way to ask is “Did anyone , like LKY, ask you to run?” It might just yield a different result! Maybe the present LHL govt didn’t suggest, but his “close friend” in personal capacity could! Reporters just have to ask hard questions, better!

    Besides, he mentioned SG faces such complex” challenges, yet siad the best days lie ahead. So was the last 20 over years less complex = meaning easier job for him but now it will be a more complex job? In what way? Haven’t the entire cabinets heavyweight came out to say how unimportant and insignificantly powerless this EP role is? Questions questions..only the non-anwers from TT.

    Saying there’s no legal requirements for him to quit GIC/SPH but he did anyway is like saying GIC/Temasek is a 5th schedule co. & they have no legal requirements to do so, but they will give you some tidbits irrelevant information anyway. Enough of the sophistry of TT. WE’ve seen it all.

    • thetwophilo says:

      The way TT is forced into our focus suggests very much that the old PAP style is re-asserting itself. So the old leopard has not changed its spots at all. Time would soon tell. My feel is that it would be the day after the announcement of the new EP. Keep watch from now till that day. My guess would be the govt would be treating the people with kid’s gloves over any issues that cropped up till then in order not to ruffle our feathers. But the honeymoon would be decidedly over when the result is known.

      If the result is in TT’s favour, which would be a huge disappointment for many folks, I wouldn’t bet on the salary of the ministers going south very much. The party would use such a result as being an ‘endorsement’ of sort. The PAP has an innate culture of using money to buy or to punish people.

      We have to remember that 60% voted for the party at the GE. The segment within this 60% who think it unnecessary to keep the party in check would support TT. While those in the 60% who are able to look at the issue more strategically, are likely to endorse the other candidates so as to balance things a bit, since one must never put all the eggs in one basket.

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  4. Jeffrey Tan says:

    I think its highly irrelevant to bring in the ‘60.1%’ who voted for PAP. Out of there a huge number voted out of blindness, very real irrational fear and loyal people.

    When OTC was elected many lose that irrational fear and voted for an unknown. This is good enough indication that TT will never be elected unless the PAP government decides to tamper with ballot boxes.

  5. Robert Teh says:

    Confucius said: “A gentleman speaks with behavior; a petty man with tongue”

    He appears suave in speech.

    However, the plain fact remains that during the past 20 plus years of his service, he did practically nothing to relieve people’s hardship and suffering from being taxed and denied essential government services to ever rising costs of living and housing while the rulers are laughing their way to the bank.

    People should assess him by his behaviors not his tongue.

    • thetwophilo says:

      I came away from an encounter that he is not for using state fund to educate handicapped and disabled children as he felt it would be costly. Up to today, the MOE refused responsibility for their education. These children are often left to depend on charities for their education and training. MOE is also not responsible for the employment, training and development of teachers of these children. Without proper govt support such charitable institutions looking after the education and training of our disabled and handicapped are constantly stressed and stretched in terms of funds, facilities, staff and trained manpower.

  6. Iceman says:

    Honestly, we can write and have a thousand “Likes” with our posts on/about/why NOT to vote for TT.

    However, if each and every one of you DO NOT act on it verbally and engage sensibly with every eligible voter out there whom you meet daily in the buses, the MRT trains, the cofi shops, the shopping malls, the parks etc etc, then I say that we, dafties, will loose this “fight” and will loose it damn sadly as well! Because TT will be voted in due/by our in-action to verbally explain to every one sitting next to you why TT must NOT be voted in….

    So, from today till the EP Polling Day, please do your part in active verbal communication to the person sitting next to you in the bus, the train etc. Please dun not just sit infront of your PC writing posts…..


    • thetwophilo says:

      You have made a good point. One positive way is to volunteer your service and expertise to the other candidates, for instance, Tan Kin Lian. In that way, your efforts would be directly relevant and optimised to meet their needs. There are many ‘fronts’ from which to contribute. Blogging is one, there are obviously others. Even merely attending rallies or gathering is another. Do not underestimate the power of your presence at events. If one or 10 thousand individuals turned up, it sends an unmistakable message.

  7. imo says:

    I think this is what TT meant;

    Before 2011 election, PAP was entrenched in power so there’s no need for the EP to make any significant decision.

    After 2011 election result, PAP’s confidence was truly shaken. A “freak” election result in 2016 or 2021 whereby the Opposition parties may take over parliament.

    In this scenario, a PAP backed EP “may have to make significant decision……blah, blah, blah”, to block a presumably “rogue” government.

  8. Alex Har says:

    I don’t really know why we want to put up a show. If a show is what we want, perhaps we should convert Istana into Singapore Royal Play House, starring LKY and his motley cast! At least we can make some tourist revenues from that rather than just paying them big salaries for doing nothing

  9. Good Question says:

    Yes, I will be following up on this.

  10. Saycheese says:

    Referring to this presidential aspirant as TT keeps reminding me of the NKF chap who was monkeying around with other peoples’ peanuts.

    Keep it up!

  11. Derrick D'Souza says:

    I agree with iceman’s comments (june 27). We must not only act on this matter of the presidental election but also engage with every eligible voter we know and share our thoughts. Our choice for president MUST be focused on his INDEPENDENCE. Folks, don’t worry, no president will screw up singapore as he must, firstly, be suitably qualified, secondly, will have the council of presidential advisors to assist in the technicalities of the decisions on hand and thirdly (and most importantly) will be elected by us clear thinking singaporeans.

  12. patriot says:

    Can Tony Tan says anything he wants, to sell his ‘koyok’ for the EP Election?
    Every word that Tony Tan said and says since he announced his candidacy has evoked sarcasm, scepticism and cynicism.
    A man who once was mostly out of the minds of most Singaporeans, he is now blessing himself with citizens’ doubts by his claim of independence from the PAP, which got him the Post of Deputy Prime Minister before. Albeit this being the case, he still stands a chance to be the next President Of Sin as 60% of Singaporeans are pro PAP as the Last General Election has shown.

    Again, can he says anything he likes? My view is that he cannot because the 60% support for PAP was for a party and not the individual members of the Party. And the more he sells himself, the more the disbelief, distrust and disdain.


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