Dr Tony Tan is the next Singapore President?

The latest news about Dr Tony Tan declaring that he will contest the presidential election as an independent candidate is not really a surprise for me. Emphasis on 'independent'. I've imagined that it's unlikely he would be running as the Government's preferred candidate. (Referring to this post, "Dr Tony Tan the Government's preferred Presidential candidate? Perhaps. Perhaps not.")

I have a strong sense of premonition that Dr Tony Tan will be the next Singapore President.

No, I'm not influenced by the recent poll by Yahoo eventhough it's very flattering to Dr Tony Tan. See, the result of the poll was announced last Monday--and Dr Tony Tan had not even confirmed that he would be running for the Presidential election!--yet, 6,013 voted for him as the President, followed by the current President Mr SR Nathan (with 2,382 votes), Mr Tan Kin Lian (2,270 votes) and lastly Dr Tan Cheng Bock (1,987 votes). Truly an impressive result for one who's at that time not even a candidate yet.

FORMER deputy prime minister Tony Tan, 71, who announced Thursday morning that he will contest the presidential election, said that he has resigned from the People's Action Party (PAP) and announced his resignation from the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation (GIC) and Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) with effect from July 1.

He intends to run as an independent candidate. Speaking at a press conference, he said that he was not approached by the government to run as a candidate and that it was his own decision to do so.

Dr Tan collected forms for the presidential election this morning at the Elections Department, ending weeks of speculation over his possible candidacy. He is currently chairman of publicly-listed SPH and deputy chairman and executive director of the GIC.

He told reporters that the next president will make significant decisions affecting the security and well-being of Singaporeans and that if elected, he will be fair and independent: 'I will work with the government, all political parties and civil society to safeguard and advance the future of all Singaporeans.'

Former PAP backbencher Tan Cheng Bock, 71, and former NTUC Income chief executive Tan Kin Lian, 63, have also announced their candidacies.

From Straits Times, "Tony Tan runs as independent presidential candidate".

Former Deputy Prime Minister Tony Tan said he is taking a risk in running for presidency.

Dr Tan, 71, arrived at the Elections Department at 10.25am on Thursday to pick up forms for the Certificate of Eligibility required to contest the upcoming Presidential Election.

He said: "If I'm granted a certificate of eligibility, I will contest the presidency election as an independent candidate."

Dr Tan was accompanied by his wife, Mary.

She said: "Well I'm very proud of my husband. I support him. And, I hope you all will too."

At a news conference, Dr Tan said he wasn't approached by anyone to run and it was his own decision.

He also said he has not sought any endorsement from the government, labour union nor any other organisations, but will be grateful and welcome it if given.

Whether the endorsement will be a disadvantage, Dr Tan said it's for Singaporeans to decide.

He said he feels that in present political, social and economic circumstances, it is his responsibility to try in the contest.

Dr Tan said he has resigned from the People's Action Party(PAP).

He will also resign from the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation (GIC) and Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) with effect from July 1.

Dr Tan is currently the Chairman of Singapore Press Holdings as well as deputy chairman and executive director of GIC.

In a statement to MediaCorp, GIC said that Dr Tan is working with GIC Management to decide on his successors or changes to the various internal GIC appointments he holds.

A former mathematics and physics lecturer at the University of Singapore, Dr Tan entered politics in 1979 at the age of 38.

He left the Cabinet between 1991 and 1995, became chairman and CEO of OCBC Bank, before returning to the Cabinet to beef up its ranks in August 1995.

Dr Tan retired from politics after 26 years, having helmed the ministries of finance, education, defence, health, and trade and industry at different points in his career.

Earlier this month, Dr Tan said that the next elected President of Singapore will hold office during a period of enormous change.

He was responding to media queries as to whether he would be making a bid for the position in the coming election.

While neither confirming nor denying a bid at that time, Dr Tan said it's more important than ever to have a President with a steady hand and a deep understanding of the complexities behind each decision he may have to make.

From Channel NewsAsia, "Tony Tan to contest Presidential Election".

A recent poll of Yahoo! Singapore users has revealed Dr Tony Tan to be the number one choice for the role of President.

Of the 12,652 users who participated in the poll on Yahoo!'s Fit-to-Post blog, 6,013 people -- 48 per cent of the vote -- voted for the former Deputy Prime Minister, who stepped down in 2005 and was succeeded by Wong Kan Seng.

The 71-year-old is well-known to have a strong independent mind, standing up to then Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew over issues such as the Graduate Mother's Scheme when he was Minister for Education.

Currently the deputy chairman and executive director of the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation (GIC), Dr Tan also spoke against the introduction of the Integrated Resorts, leading to then-East Coast GRC MP Tan Soo Khoon's comment, "It is probably the first time that I have heard Cabinet Ministers, starting with no less than the Deputy Prime Minister, Dr Tony Tan, expressing divergent views on a single topic."

He is also currently the chairman of the Singapore Exchange-listed, Singapore Press Holdings (SPH), a post he has held since his retirement from Cabinet in December 2005.

Other options listed in the poll included former Ayer Rajah MP Tan Cheng Bock (1,987 votes), ex-NTUC Income chief Tan Kin Lian (2,270 votes) and incumbent President S R Nathan (2,382 votes).

From Yahoo! News, "Dr Tony Tan favourite for President role". (20/06/11)

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