Wednesday, 29 June 2011

TODAYonline | Voices | Revamp land tender system

TODAYonline Voices Revamp land tender system

Presidential Election Watch Part I - My Initial Impression of the PE Candidates

Before my retreat to Nanjing on Jun 10, the only candidate who had confirmed taking part in the PE Race was Tan Cheng Bock. Tan Kin Lian was still unsure then about getting family consensus, while PAP supporters were still hopeful that George Yeo would take part.

After my return from Nanjing, it is clear that this Presidential Election (PE) would be a Tri-Tan contest, amongst Tan Cheng Bock, Tan Kin Lian and Tony Tan.

It is quite obvious that Tony Tan is PAP's endorsed choice despite his declaration of independency. Otherwise, George Yeo might have chosen to contest with PAP's endorsement.

My initial impression of how the PE Race might turn out is as follows. You may recall the infamous "co-driver" analogy used by Workers Party MP Low Thia Kiang during GE 2011. I like to use this same analogy to describe how the contest might evolve.

(a) Dr. Tony Tan as the elected "co-driver" President to the PAP Government

If PAP is the "driver" elected by GE 2011, then Tony Tan if elected as the President may be viewed also as a "co-driver". Despite his declaration to fight as an independent candidate, his proximity  with the PAP is too close for comfort despite leaving the Government in 2005. After all PM Lee, ESM Goh and other Ministers / PAP have already given him an overwhelming endorsement.

Will this "co-driver" President if elected then be able to give the PAP Government an effective "slap" when required, given his powers are already limited as explained by our Minister for Law as mere "custodial". Will it again be like what happened to the late President Ong Teng Cheong when his term expired in September 1999. Or will a "slap" be "too late" as during the Lehman Brothers / Mini-Bond crisis when Tony Tan could have acted pre-emptively and directly as GIC's Vice Chairman / Executive Director in order to ensure the security of our reserves, without having to be a "co-driver" President ?

His intention to declare an independent campaign is probably aimed at distancing from the PAP for comfort and to win votes from the increasingly wider anti-PAP ground seen in GE 2011. It can also be viewed as distancing from a strong state-controlled media and also the Government Investment Corporation (GIC) which he has helmed but would resign from 1st July in order to qualify for the PE Race.

Is it then PAP's or Tony Tan's own tactics to hide and disguise the "GIC" link? To the general public, this is plainly technical in procedures especially when it could be perceived as for "easy and smooth" handover by an outgoing President SR Nathan and with the imminent resignation by Tony Tan from his GIC appointment. Obviously, there is nothing much to disagree when it he is directly in control now before the PE Race.

(b) Mr. Tan Kin Lian as the elected "Insurer" President

During GE 2011, Worker Party MP Low Thai Kiang also used the analogy of voting for the Workers Party as buying "insurance".

By voting for Tan Kin Lian, is it synonymous with buying "insurance" - safeguarding our "reserves" and "CPF" ? After all, Tan Kin Lian was once helming the NTUC Income, an insurance cooperative; managing assets of more than S$17 billion. And guided by his pledge on personal values of honesty, fairness, positive attitude, courage and public service guided by the views of the people which he will actively seek.

For those who know this man personally, you would know what his drive on these "values" really means by his own actions, more than "words". And he would pursue them right to the "ground", just like the way he had done it for the "Mini-Bond" saga, even when it means voicing out and brushing with highly authoritative figures that he considered should be responsible.

(c) Dr. Tan Cheng Bock as the elected "Doctor" President

With Tan Cheng Bock whom I consider to be comparatively "weaker" in his "corporate experience and financial acuity", will he then be the natural choice as "Doctor" President only to be chosen when you feel "ill" with options of "Tony Tan vs Tan Kin Lian". The irony is we can vote in only one of them.

I must mention and compliment him though, as a true amicable "grass-root" man, whom had spoken up when required even against his own PAP's policies. Dr. Tan was after all once my popular "stand-in" MP for Bukit Timah when Dr. Wang Kai Yuen had taken leave while he was equally friendly and accepted in his own ward at West Coast.

I will stop here for the time being as I will be doing shorter postings for easy reading. In forthcoming postings on this topic, we will take a closer look at the candidates individually.

Note : All comments expressed in this Blog regarding the PE Race are personal OPINIONS.

Monday, 27 June 2011

Spread the message | Tan Kin Lian's Blog

Spread the message Tan Kin Lian's Blog

Dr. Tony Tan will be getting the support of the mainstream media.

I need my supporters to spread the word through word of mouth and through the internet. Here is your chance to be involved. My statements are in my blog and website ( You can send any of the following messages to your friends, and ask them to send to their friends.

I support Tan Kin Lian for President for the following reasons:

a) He will think independently of the PAP in looking after the interest of the people.
b) He will actively seek and communicate the aspirations of the people to the government
c) He is capable of safeguarding our CPF money and the national reserves 
Please go to to read about his statements and also enrol as a supporter or donate to the campaign.

Back From Nanjing Again

I have just returned from another trip to China (Nanjing) / HK.

You may recall my mentioning of this TODAY's article in my posting "External Drivers - Watching China in 2011" last year-end about monitoring the "external drivers". I have been doing that despite paying attention to the recent Euro-zone developemnts while paying particular attention to the China economy due to certain developments. Two quarters have passed since my previous retreat to Nanjing in Nov 2010.

I mentioned before that sometimes I find China more "democratic" than Singapore. In the words of an expat journalist who has covered China for many years, "China is a land where nothing is allowed, but everything is possible". I will soon be writing more about my thoughts on this recent trip.

China's Political Scene
Before my trip, I was watching the kick-start of our own Presidential Election race (PE 2011). It is now quite clear that the race would be a 3-cornered fight amongst the 3 TANs, with Tony Tan clearly "endorsed" as the pro-PAP candidate, despite his own expressed intention of running as an independent candidate. It is interesting that I know one of these 3 PE candidates personally.

I would be writing more about the PE 2011 race and also my own observation of the likely direction of the Singapore property market. As usual, I hope to present both topics to readers in a very different perspective.

Monday, 6 June 2011

Tan Kin Lian for President

This blog supports the "Tan Kin Lian for President" ' s site on facebook.

This is the link :- .

You may also want to visit the SgEP ( Singapore Social-Economic Portal ) to catch up with more news on the coming Presidential Election.

I will be taking my retreat in Nanjing / HK for two weeks soon.

As former Foreign Affairs Minister George Yeo says he hopes to make his decision on whether to contest in the upcoming Presidential Election in two weeks' time, I will also be writing on the Presidential Election after my retreat.

I will also be writing my on own views on the directions of the Singapore Property Market after my break.