Another challenge to PAP’s political dominance

Tony Tan has resigned from the PAP and confirmed his running for the president as an independent candidate just like Tan Cheng Bock. Many people will be wondering how independent does it mean? Is he PAP’s sponsored candidate just like the past elected presidents? Teng Cheong and Nathan did not claim to be independent candidates and were comfortable to be seen as PAP’s choices. Is the announcement that he is an independent candidate puts him at a distance from the PAP and would the people believe this to be so?

It is in the interest of the PAP to have its own sponsored candidate as it had done so in the past. The Elected Presidency, like the GRC, is designed to favour the PAP’s choice of candidate. And it is unlikely that PAP would not run a presidential candidate and give up its stake in the Elected President. In all reasonings, Tony will be seen as the PAP’s candidate unless PAP actually put up another candidate with an official endorsement of support. Without doing so, how many voters would believe that Tony is not PAP’s candidate.

Tony is PAP’s trump card, the strongest card it has played and available to the party. The winning of the presidency by a PAP backed candidate is of paramount importance to the party. It must win as the other candidates have openly stated that they want to be guardians of the reserves, exactly as what the elected president was set up to do. Life will be tough or at least not as easy going should anyone not on the PAP’s side is elected.

How would the people decide who should be their president? Would they choose a president the PAP wanted, or would they choose otherwise? Or would PAP just leave the situation as it is, that Tony is an independent candidate and not say anything in his favour? Given Tony’s standing and stature, it should be a walkover. He has all the good qualities expected of a president. He even looks like a president.

It is not that Cheng Bock or Kin Lian look less like a president. They too look quite good. If one were to place all the cards on the table, Tony definitely has a big edge. The only thing going against him is his closeness with the PAP.

If the people find that a truly independent president, independent from the PAP, is the crux of the matter, and the most important attribute of the president, then all the goodness of Tony may be swept aside. If the people want a president that will stand up to the PAP, then unfortunately, Tony will not be their candidate of choice no matter how many thousand times Tony claimed that he is an independent candidate, ready to do what is expected of him as the President, to protect the country’s reserves.

There is nothing Tony can do to remove himself completely from his past association. You can’t blame anyone for thinking that he is PAP. It would be an uphill task for Tony to persuade the people to think otherwise. He can try of course.

So, what do the people want? A rejection of Tony will be the clearest warning that the PAP has lost all its political capital and on its way out. This is a presidential election to watch, coming so close behind the last GE. The GE was a watershed. The presidential election could be a waterfall. It will see another of PAP’s foundation being knocked down should Cheng Bock or Kin Lian trounce Tony. It will be another attempt by the people to chip on the PAP’s armour of invincibility.

The public consensus that no opposition can bring down the PAP except the PAP itself is becoming a reality. Both Cheng Bock and Kin Lian were PAP. It is the breakaway, the internal rivalry that is coming to the open. It only needs the people to help make it happen.


The said...

/// There is nothing Tony can do to remove himself completely from his past association. You can’t blame anyone for thinking that he is PAP. It would be a downhill task for Tony to persuade the people to think otherwise. ///

Downhill task? You mean it is a piece of cake? A walk in the park? Nah, I think you mean it will be an uphill task. Hey, don't it easy for our dear Tony, will you?

/// This is a presidential election to watch, coming so close behind the last GE. The GE was a watershed. The presidential election could be a waterfall. ///

I think it will be more like a tsunami.

Seriously, there is really no reliable indicator if someone is pro-PAP or independent, whether he was associated with the PAP or not.

You can have a truly qualified non-politician who had nothing to do with the PAP or government before, but who turns out to be 101% pro-PAP once elected.

OTOH, you can have an ex-PAP man who can turn out to be fiercely independent. Let's hope whichever Tan (all three were ex PAP men) becomes President, he will do an Ong Teng Cheong. But let's hope it will not take 56 man-year for the EP to do his job. Let's hope we do not have to Tan Koo Koo to know what our reserves are.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Ooops, still sleeping. Thanks The. Corrected.

Wally Buffet said...

My advice to our dear beloved president incumbent is to keep out of the race and let the Tans do their thing.

On the other hand if he really wants to know how popular a president he was, join in the fun by all means and be a nahtan amongst the tans.

My bet is that he will call it a day and ride into the sunset and live happily ever after. But I am just wondering why the coyness in parrying questions as to whether he will stand or not.


Anonymous said...

waiting for master to tell him when and what to say. maybe master want to sponsor him leh.

all three claim to be independent and master still have not show hand.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Tony Tan said Singapore facing complex challenges. What's that?

What is the role of a non executive president in handling such complex challenges? Thought the president only has custodian duty to guard the reserves which I think are in the GIC and maybe Temasek Holdings, and maybe, oops, sorry, I dunno where.

Wally Buffet said...

"Complex Challenges"?

Maybe he's talking about the property bust that is sure to lightning bolt stupid Sinkapooreans jostling two to one DBSS pigeon hole that is marked up 300 % or more.

The question is not will it but when.

And it will be sooner than you think and worst than you can imagine.


Anonymous said...

Tony Tan showing his mastery of understanding the challenges the country is facing when no one else can. No one talks about the complex challenges, is it that they did not know?

The said...

"Complex Challenges"?

Maybe he is talking about Oedipus Complex?

Or the snooty, arrogant PAP complex?

Woh Hup Complex next to Golden Mile Complex?

Wow, this is getting too complex for me........

Wally Buffet said...

Nowadays, shaking hands is also getting too complex for me.

My neighbourhood wet market fishmonger looks more presidential and his job is very very complex with all the fishy stuff

Anonymous said...

It's very complex inside a man's head.
I rather see what he had done and doing:
1. Attending board meetings.
2. Eating in the best restaurants and food
3. Shaking hands with dignitaries

Tony was the man for early education streaming...a clear elitist.
Tony was a true blue banker....the rich man with a golden spoon since young.
Tony joined in and sued TLHong & wife despite the righteous revelation of "condos" discounts....not inline with his religious faith.
Tony obeyed YODA....thoroughbred PAP man.

He is a decent man, not an independent man. He is a Yes status quo man, not a questioning man. He looks ok, but if by look better get Chow Ren Fatt.
He also took millions dollar salary & did not stand up against it.

So will he question GIC/PAP or in partnership with them even against Singaporeans wishes?

Will he say no, to changing Singapore into being a FOREIGNERS invaded country policy? Has he? Did he?

I remembered abt 15 years ago, OLD Man was already plotting for 8mln population.

Can this this good looking man truly understand the struggles of the Singaporean masses?
30 years in politics...long enough to see.

I have enough, I give TKL a try.
Give an independent voice a chance.
After all no to little downside risk, 81 PAP out of 87 seats.

The moral direction of FOREIGNERS & GREED 1st must be checked.

Wally Buffet said...

I am voting all three of them in.

An insurance salesman, a medicine man, a politician.

Wow! what an interesting combination! Birds of the same feather flocking together.

The post should be scrapped and replaced with a tripartite presidential committee. The Vistana is a big colonial mansion and will accommodate the three of them comfortably.

But I am afraid they have to share the $4mil. if they don't mind.

After all, three heads is better than one.


Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

I actually want to vote myself. Since that is not possible, my choice of preference, Kin Lian, Cheng Bock, Tony. It is not about personality but about what they can and should be doing.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Wally, you got a point. I am sure they are not in for the money. Kin Lian is happy with $300k. Tony and Cheng Bock have so much money that they got tired and frustrated counting them. They sure won't mine anything, or sharing the balance.

It is a great honour for anyone of them to be a President. They will do their family history proud. And that is worth more than the few millions they don't need.

No need to waste time and money voting. Just take all 3in1 for the price of one.

Wally Buffet said...

Mr. Bean,

Looking at your portrait, you look more presidential.

Don't you fret. The day is not far off when they have to scrap the nonsense about running an $100mil. outfit to qualify.

Truth be told, you can run such an entity without knowing or understanding what the fuck is going on. All you need do is to get appointed. And that's about it!


Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

You don't need a cow chopper to slaughter a chicken. Likewise, you no need a supertalent to be an MP.

Anonymous said...

Yep, what is needed and expected from a president is the resolved, integrity, determination and commitment to do what is right for the people and country. That needs a lot of guts, strength of character and sense of righteousness.

When Tan Kin Lian said he only needs $300k and will donate the rest to charity, that is sense of righteousness and propriety. He knows that it is not right to take that kind of indecent money even if the govt want to stuff it in his pocket.

Anonymous said...

Just like to say there is no fish independent of water. And as for the President who think that it will be an almighty role that he/she could play in local politic he/she is dreaming as Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong had told Singaporeans to do so.
Instead of having a presidential advisory panel, Wally's suggestion to multiple presidents makes good sense. Sin can have a board of 3 to 5 presidents sharing the 4 or 5 million Sin dollars annually and they can can many thing simultaneously, hence enhancing and increasing their productivities and contributions. With all their talents combined, it will be a more convincing force too.
I will vote all contesting.

forgetmenaught said...


Btw, all the Ah Long Sans in Sin are also helping cash strap Singaporeans solve complex problems also wat.

They are also the CEO of their own financial institutions
who also help to churn Sin GDP. They also run compex
subsidiaries and branches all over. They are also important
to our growth and economy. Hehe

Anonymous said...

Mr Chua smile more, put a smiling photo...you are a local talent...got chance. 2016 Chua Chin Leng for President!

Anonymous said...

If eligible $40,000 bet against potential harvest $20mln. Black Swan in reverse.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Hi forgetmenaught,

The ah longs are real talent. They are managing their own financial system and no need Harvard or any Ivy League degrees.

Oh anon, I wanted to smile. But can't smile anymore.

Anonymous said...

I believe Tony Tan already was their choice long ago. The comments from some PAP ministers and MPs lately points to this.

George Yeo putting on a wayang was just for entertainment to please some supporters. He was never serious about it, probably since he knew Tony Tan was already picked.

It is now only left for the PAP and MSM to give the other Tans their PAP smears to see if they have cancerous cells before going one step further with character assassinations and eventual disqualification. TKL already knew it coming. The writing is on the wall for him when the Law Minister. although indirectly, did a piece to shot down his stance, commenting about some candidates wanting to do this and that if elected which is not possible under the constitution.

The problem now is whether Cheng Bock will go all the way or pull out to make the show less melodramatic as always coming into the final stretch.

As for the incumbent still posturing about whether to participate or out, I think we can forget about him with the naming of Tony Tan. He is probably just trying out his prata flipping trick, for the last time, at his age.

AL said...

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...
Tony Tan said Singapore facing complex challenges. What's that?


RB, gib chan lah, TT must say somethin' right? Especially at his presidential opening press conference.

I think he meant Pap is facing complex challenges. He's been with the party so long and so intimately he has forgotten that Pap ain't Sinkapoor. Poor chap, someone should remove those stamps from his eyes.

Stamps or not he's the least suitable among the three Tans for the EP post. He's the most connected and the closest to the party among them. With
81 members in parliament to support the lky-gct-lhl triumvirate we don't want another yes man in the form of the president to add to the tally. God forbid...

Anonymous said...

All the big wigs have been preaching again. I am sure we all agree that Tony Tan is well qualified for the job. He knows all about the reserves. After all he was one of those who did not feel it was necessary for Ong Teng Chong to know how much reserves were to be protected.
All this seems like another big PAP wayang to get their man in. Who is the contender TAN CHENG BOK. Why?? Because he dares to stand up. That's why when voting in Parliament is done, the "whip" is many times in place ...just in case the MPs have other ideas. So much for trust. Are those in power listening? Have they learned anything after the elections? Do they still think that they have all the answers? Big question mark. Something to really think about. Who will dare ask the difficult questions or will the constitution be changed again???

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Hi AL, welcome to the blog.

Seriously, truly, sincerely, I didn't see any complex challenges. But then I am just a layman, not in the govt and thinking about complex challenges. You can see complex problems only when you are thinking about them.

I am just one of those happy go lucky, where got problem type. Ignorance is bliss: )

See, see, where got problem? If I were to be the president, I think I will see no problem also. For Tony to talk about the complex challenges, he never says problems, he knows something we don't know, or most people don't know.

Smart fellow and well informed.

AL said...

"You can see complex problems only when you are thinking about them."

There's a barb in the tail: them = PAPayas. Was it intended? Hahaha

"Smart fellow and well informed."

Granted, but no less a PAPaya-munching president, IF he gets there. Therefore, he is unsuitable and non-presidents must make sure he doesn't get there. Agreed?

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Little wonder they increased the President's pay by almost a million just recently. Tony Tan is no small fry settling for little rewards. Why, he even declined being the PM years ago. Why is this man suddenly interested in hogging the limelight and putting his neck out this time round?

Green Peas said...

The probable complex challenges ahead are likely these:

1. The Global Economic Crisis is still not over. In fact, it is getting worse. The US is in great debt. So is UK and EU. The Middle East is facing more and more revolutions that topple or threaten existing status quo.

2. There is a regional political challenge brewing, possibly armed challenges between neighbouring countries. Japan is in deep shit. The US is shifting its power into Asia to ensure China and India do not become the Big Brother in Asia.

3. The IMF is in trouble, big big trouble, while European Union is also in deep financial troubles that require IMF's financial help. And China is making a wrong move to try to help the EU financially in order to buy more time.

4. Smaller countries in the region like Vietnam, Philippines and Indonesia are trying to flex their muscles. And Australia is getting uneasy, thinking of re-organising and refocusing its military to meet potential future challenges.

5. Internally, within Singapore, the PAP is facing a big challenge from the People. In the next five years, if LHL cannot govern well, then the downfall of the PAP is ensured.

6. Internally, the property market is going to crash. It is only a matter of time. Those who play this game without care will be wiped out. The govt's release of more land sales is not going to dampen the property prices but rather pushing them even higher and higher. Finally, the market will not be sustainable - then crash!

7. The population growth with influx of foreigners is not sustainable. Together with the two casinos and the rich-poor divides, these three evils will finish off within 10 years whatever nation-building efforts that have been put in over the last 45 years.

8. PAP's rule is based upon economic growth instead of democracy, which it once championed before it came to power. The economic model that PAP Singapore adopted is based upon the dominance of Govt as the main economic power as well as the political power; therefore the need to keep competitions out, therefore the need to destroy all the troublesome democratic institutions, so as to give the people only one choice, i.e. the PAP Rule. This economic-cum-political power is beginning to crack and will soon face its own challenges.

Those are my 2-cents worth of crystal-ball gazing.

Anonymous said...

Yes, it is destined, no doubt about it.
Just hope that it will not come too soon.
Meanwhile Singaporeans should prepare themselves. Can learn from foreign talents about emigration and how to survive and seek peace of mind, to stay away from Sin.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Hi Green Peas, these are complex challenges that the world is facing. The issue is that a non executive president, or ceremonial president, is meant to smile, shake hands and look dignified. He is not to be bothered with such issues and neither will he be consulted on such matters. Of course he can have his own opinion like us and may want to pen his thoughts in a Presidential blog as personal opinion or views.

The only role is as custodian of the reserves which is a myth if a rogue govt is in power. Heard of lame duck?

All the complex challenges are actually none of the business of the president. So what is the point?

You, me and many people here too are awared of these complex problems.