Dr Tony Tan resigned his GIC posts, where he was both Dy Chairman and Executive Director, as well as his SPH Chairmanship and his PAP membership, in order to contest in the Elected Presidency.
He was coy about his reasons for participating but claimed he had ‘no choice’, as ‘national interest is there’ and he was, in effect, duty bound. Earlier, he had invoked the imagery of an approaching ‘perfect storm’ in the global economy as a prime motivation.
He denied any conflict of interest, and actually (not surprisingly) claimed that his GIC experience would actually be a plus point which would help him make ‘possibly’ better decisions than others in protecting the reserves and ensuring it’s proper management.
But, commonsense says that it would indeed take some believing his claim that he could do a better job as an EP ‘guiding’ govt’s efforts in this respect from a ringside seat, like a ‘back seat’ driver, as compared to being directly involved in the arena taming the lions! That was precisely what he was doing before the ‘call-up’.
If for one moment that is true, then he has just rubbished his previous GIC jobs. Patently, therefore, this is not true!
One has to feel he is insulting our intelligence just like those seemingly unending streams of ‘endorsements’ orchestrated for his sake that is currently unfolding EVERYDAY, ad nauseam, in the pages of the MSM and on national TV! All of a sudden ethnic associations (so far, one) and trade unions are falling over themselves lining up in the queue to ‘endorse’ him. Certainly, reminds you of the in-thing now of teenagers ‘planking’ themselves, sometimes into oblivion.
Please, Dr Tan, give us a break. We are not born yesterday, you know.
But, let me straighten this out for the rest of us doubting Thomases. This is what I believe is honest to goodness, the case:
1. Nathan, the incumbent is weary and wants badly to leave. He has had enough of teasing by Singaporeans after 12 long years. Wearing the conical hat isn’t funny anymore, though the money is good.
2. However, Singaporean voters are in no mood to humour the govt. They have tasted blood on 7 May 2011, and they want some more!
3. Sensing this, govt threw in GY as bait and got the MSM going hammer and tongs into overdrive trying to play up his notches on the popularity chart. However, they failed, as voters refused to bite, pointing out instead to George’s pre-polling day virtual ‘promise’ to the country to play a major role in ‘reforming’ the party, in a desperate last ditch futile attempt at salvaging votes. In the event, it didn’t work. He fooled himself.
George also painted himself into a corner by declaring, in no uncertain terms, in the despairing aftermath moments of poll defeat, where everything tasted lousy, that the EP is NOT for a ‘free spirit’ like him. Effectively, he locked himself out, some speculated it was perhaps on purpose.
4. When Tan Cheng Bock and Tan Kin Lian announced their respective interests to vie for the EP, the govt convulsed in panic. In the words of Lim Boon Heng, the crying ex-minister in the PM office, in reference to Tan Cheng Bock, he said, Singaporeans are in NO mood for yet another PAP-linked EP (and who can blame them?). Tan Kin Lian’s announcement of his interest, sent the party leadership frantically scurrying for a suitable proxy cum replacement for GY.
5. Their eyes fell on Tony. They cornered him and they gave him an offer he cannot refuse! That is: Get that job, OR be prepared to spend the next six years fielding all manners of SWF 101 queries from an (but of course) ubiquitous and mighty curious and perhaps a tad suspicious, EP.
After a decade on the GIC job, Tony simply does not have the stomach for that sort of potentially gut-churning, looking over his shoulders, cross-examination by the next EP, esp. about his role during the 2008 and thereabout period. For that matter, by anybody.
6. So Tony has no choice but to throw in his cushy GIC and SPH jobs and to surrender his life membership of the PAP club, to enter the battle for the EP’s mantle. Realistically , that is the only feasible way for him to keep his own secrets, secret.
Category: Fictional Reality.