Thy Dowager Peggy Heng fake oral sex video and her twisted logic

A final (hopefully, I'm getting sick of this fake publicity attempt) follow-up to this post, "Give this Green Light Movement a red light!!", I decided to feature a screenshot from YouTube clip, "Celebrity Blogger Catfight (Part 2)". The screenshot was grabbed 1940 hrs and what I'd like to highlight is how there have been 105 dislikes (and I'm sure the no of dislikes will grow even further) and only miserable 6 likes.

Yeah. It's kinda stupid, truly degrading and insulting, really. The blogger Thy Dowager (or Ms Peggy Heng) seemed to suggest that many girls are deploying 'oral sex' to solve their relationship problems?! To quote Homer Simpson: "D'OH!!"

Of course 'oral sex' is not the way to solve one's relationship problems!! My goodness, what a wonderful art of stating the obvious...

Local blogger and model Peggy Heng, 22, has received a backlash from netizens over a fake 'oral sex' video, which she had orchestrated to promote a dating event.

The four-minute video shows a young, attractive woman, played by Peggy Heng herself, unbuckling a man's belt and about to perform oral sex on him. But before she went through with it, she turned to the camera and said: "But this is not the way to solve your relationship problems."

Peggy told The New Paper that the fake oral sex video was a sequel to the 'catfight' video which posted on STOMP earlier, showing a local celebrity (again, played by Peggy herself) involved in a heated argument with another girl who was with her boyfriend outside popular nightclub Butter Factory. STOMP, however, was aware that the video could be part of a silly PR stunt.

After the original video made its way online, Peggy wrote in her blog that she was the woman in the video, detailing a painful fallout with her boyfriend.

In order to have the original video taken down, Peggy was supposed to perform 'oral sex' on the man who uploaded the video -- an act she claimed was suggested by netizens, and not her.

While netizens were outraged by the video, calling it "lame", "pathetic" and "immature", Peggy defended it by saying:

"People keep thinking that I did this video to raise my hits instead of thinking that I'm out there to help someone.

"The reason why (sic) I acted this way is to show people that there is a way out of situations that were played out."

She added that she and her friends -- which include her boyfriend Glen Liu, 22, and dating coach Xavier See, 24 -- wanted to highlight social issues -- that miscommunication between couples is a root cause of break-ups and divorces.

STOMPer Artful Dodger, who came across the video online, said:

"The video has got nothing to do with helping troubled relationships, It's just a lame excuse for some young, immature people to gain publicity and try to show people that they know all about love.

"Would you seriously take relationship advice from these twenty-something-year-olds?

"What message is Peggy and her friends trying to convey? What has oral sex got to do with troubled relationships?"

From STOMP, "'Celeb blogger' gets backlash over fake oral sex video".

IT WAS a publicity stunt meant to promote a dating event for young people.

Instead, a video featuring local blogger Peggy Heng has drawn flak from netizens, who have slammed it as tasteless, tacky and sensational.

It shows Ms Heng on her knees and about to perform oral sex on a man. As she is about to unzip his pants, she stops and turns to the camera, saying it is not the way to solve relationship problems.

From The New Paper, "Blogger's fake sex video causes online controversy".

A fake sex video of a local blogger has drawn an outpouring of criticism for being, according to some viewers, "misleading", "attention-seeking" and "unprofessional".

The video, uploaded to YouTube on Monday by user greendude2809, portrays a scene wherein blogger and model Peggy Heng, 22, enters a room and kneels in front of a man, who unbuckles his belt and starts to undo his jeans.

However, she soon turns around abruptly and addresses the camera, saying, "But that is not the way to solve your relationship problems."

The four-minute video transitions to a promotion for a dating event for singles, to be held at nightclub The Butter Factory on 28 September.

An earlier video posted last week by the same user on YouTube depicts a catfight scene between Heng and her boyfriend, who is seen with another girl outside the club. On citizen journalism portal STOMP, where the video was also uploaded, it garnered more than 94,000 hits over the weekend to-date.

Both videos, Heng wrote on her blog, were part of the Greenlight Movement, a campaign spearheaded jointly by her and two others, including her boyfriend, reported The New Paper.

The campaign, she said, targets two key social issues in Singapore today -- the rise of singles and of cheating cases in Singapore.

Since the video was posted on Heng's blog, together with an explanation for both -- with the earlier video revealed to be staged -- Heng's post received some 50 comments from netizens, the majority of which called her "attention-seeking" and "immature".

"Your immature act just proved to many how attention-seeking you are. Pathetic, I will say," wrote a user on the model's blog.

User Faith Lim also commented, "Whoever thought of this marketing tactic really needs to brush up on their skills. Because all you get is negative publicity."

Other readers commented that they were unable to see the link between the publicity videos and the cause behind the event -- to encourage singles to "meet new people quickly and boost (their) social circle(s)", as Heng wrote in her blog.

"Expanding your social circle is not only essential for your love life, it definitely comes in handy for work and connection!" she added.

Negative or positive publicity regardless, Heng does not seem to be fazed. On Wednesday morning, the blogger posted web banners and images of the story, which made page 1 headlines on The New Paper. She also mentioned the newspaper story in two tweets from her Twitter account, encouraging her followers to "grab a copy today! :)"

She also congratulated her fellow event organiser, 24-year-old dating coach Xavier See, on the microblogging site, saying, "Great work there :D We've so many people adding us up on Greenlight! For all we know, Headlines only cover worthy-stories, no?"

Earlier, she was quoted as saying, "If I were to reveal the story behind the first video without that portion (with the guy), it won't be that effective. Having that part is necessary to bring across the point, which is the social cause."

Speaking to Yahoo! Singapore on Wednesday evening, Heng explained the rationale for the two videos, saying that the first role-plays a cheating case, portraying the possible reactions and consequences of cheating.

Of the second video, she said she wanted to educate the public, to remind them to look at the bigger picture and not be narrow-minded in their thinking.

"When it boils down to social issues, people's attention span is always close to zero," she said. "We certainly needed to come in with a 'big bang'... and the best way (to do that) is through controversies," she added.

Heng said that she and See hoped to be able to share their knowledge and experience in dating and cheating cases with people through the campaign. She also said of the movement, "We will not be deterred by (the negative reaction it has received thus far), because we strongly believe our cause is for the better."

From Yahoo! News, "S’pore blogger’s video publicity stunt slammed".

Manchester United IPO and its dual-share structure

A follow-up for "Manchester United ... IPO??"--and I still don't find the IPO appealing. Especially its dual-share structure which will contain a block of shares with voting rights and one without?! Yeah, hardly attractive.

Manchester United chose Singapore over Hong Kong for an Asia float because of the city-state's more flexible conditions and proximity to their passionate Southeast Asian fans, a source said Wednesday.

The English football champions are opting for a dual-share structure, which will allow the club's owners - the US-based Glazer family - to stay in charge of key decisions, the source who is close to the planned listing told AFP.

Hong Kong, which is the world's biggest initial public offering market last year, was the first choice for the Glazers but exchange regulations there do not allow a two-tier structure, the source said.

"The rationale is because sports clubs are quite different from most companies," said the source, who did not want to be named.

"Allowing control ensures long-term decision-making and strategic planning. That structure is important for the successful operation of the club."

The proposed dual-share structure will contain a block of shares with voting rights and one without, according to the source.

One of the advantages of such a structure is that it allows the owners to make quick decisions, such as on player transfers.

A listing in Singapore will also position the 19-times English champions closer to their fanatical supporters in Southeast Asia, where millions follow the club religiously, the source said.

"Singapore is nearer to Southeast Asia, where the fan base is more fervent. If you have it in Hong Kong, people may just construe China as 'it' but China is just part of the equation."

Local media reports said Manchester United could raise $1 billion dollars from the IPO of 30 per cent of the club's shares which would value the company at more than $3 billion.

United were ranked by business magazine Forbes earlier this year as the world's most valuable football club, worth $1.86 billion.

Analysts said the plans to list in Singapore did not come as a surprise.

"I suppose it's not surprising they are looking to list in Asia," said Matthew Gorman, the Singapore-based head of corporate with global law firm Stephenson Harwood.

"The levels of liquidity here in Asia are better at present than in Europe/US. They also recognise that Asia is where a lot of their fans are," he told AFP.

Asia accounts for 190 million of the estimated 330 million United followers worldwide, and most of the club's sponsors are based in Asia or generate a large part of revenue from the region.

Snaring United was a coup for Singapore, which has been in rivalry with Hong Kong as a regional financial centre.

Singapore Exchange chief executive Magnus Bocker said last week Singapore was a distinct market from Hong Kong which offers a direct springboard into the vast China market.

"Hong Kong has been very successful in offering listings for companies that want to have a very Chinese focus, where you reach into China, and they've been very good at that," Bocker was quoted as saying by Dow Jones Newswires.

"I think Singapore has a very strong offering for companies that want to be much broader, maybe reaching out to India, reaching out to Southeast Asia, but also reaching out to China... our offering is therefore broader in a different way."

From Channel NewsAsia, "Man Utd opts for two-tier IPO listing".

Manchester United chose Singapore over Hong Kong for an Asia float because of the city-state's more flexible conditions and proximity to their passionate Southeast Asian fans, a source said on Wednesday.

The English football champions are opting for a dual-share structure, which will allow the club's owners - the US-based Glazer family - to stay in charge of key decisions, the source who is close to the planned listing told AFP.

Hong Kong - the world's biggest initial public offering market last year - was the first choice for the Glazers but exchange regulations there do not allow a two-tier structure, the source said.

'The rationale is because sports clubs are quite different from most companies,' said the source, who did not want to be named.

'Allowing control ensures long-term decision-making and strategic planning. That structure is important for the successful operation of the club.'

The proposed dual-share structure will contain a block of shares with voting rights and one without, according to the source.

One of the advantages of such a structure is that it allows the owners to make quick decisions, such as on player transfers.

A listing in Singapore will also position the 19-times English champions closer to their fanatical supporters in Southeast Asia, where millions follow the club religiously, the source said.

'Singapore is nearer to Southeast Asia, where the fan base is more fervent. If you have it in Hong Kong, people may just construe China as 'it' but China is just part of the equation.'

Local media reports said Manchester United could raise US$1 billion from the IPO.

United were ranked by business magazine Forbes earlier this year as the world's most valuable football club, worth US$1.86 billion.

Analysts said the plans to list in Singapore did not come as a surprise.

'I suppose it's not surprising they are looking to list in Asia,' said Matthew Gorman, the Singapore-based head of corporate with global law firm Stephenson Harwood.

'The levels of liquidity here in Asia are better at present than in Europe/US. They also recognise that Asia is where a lot of their fans are,' he told AFP.

Asia accounts for 190 million of the estimated 330 million United followers worldwide, and most of the club's sponsors are based in Asia or generate a large part of revenue from the region.

From Business Times, "Man Utd pick two-tier S'pore listing: source".

Blog Day 31/08 and the 6 Recommended Blogs

This post is my entry for "Nuffnang Celebrates BlogDay!".

In case you wonder (to quote from Nuffnang): "Blog Day was created with the belief that bloggers should have one day dedicated to getting to know other bloggers from other countries and areas of interest."

Here are the 6 recommended blogs I choose to be featured for the Blog Day today:

1) Elizabeth May Photography

Astonishing shots. Even if some of them were taken by disposable cameras!


Charming. Simple, but with a lot of details.

3) Guide Puppy Dog

A dog is really a man's best friend. Or in this case, a blogger's.

4) I found your pen

Highly original. Unusual, albeit somewhat a senseless quest? (Kind of remind me to my old rather dying site of "Because the moon already does another's...". Sigh.)

5) Calling People Names

Mostly words. Mostly captivating words. You'll be hooked once if you give this wordy blog a chance.

6) Old Picture of the Day

A historical photograph every day? Surprisingly not a bore. Heh.

Give this Green Light Movement a red light!!

Simply because no one likes to be cheated!! I'm referring to this previous post, "Thy-Dowager & how a celebrity blogger is first and foremost a human too, and thus entitled for a catfight once a while..." and how it's actually revealed in "Blogger Peggy Heng's Scandal Catfight" that the catfight was just a fake. Nothing more to promote the so-called Green Light Movement.

Totally disgusted.

You want publicity? You've got one more from this humble blog of mine.


Presidential Election and the 3 winners who lost the race...

You're getting closer. Keep it up, and soon enough you'll figure out. You can't write if you can't relate.

(The above 3 sentences are part of the lyrics of the below songs respectively.)

Change the word 'write' to 'politicize'. And that will be even more appropriate in the context of this post. Perhaps it may be too harsh to say the 3 losers of the Presidential Election couldn't relate to the voters. I mean, yeah, the winner President Dr Tony Tan might have secured only 35.19% which Mr Tan Jee Say--somewhat arrogantly I feel--urged Dr Tan to reflect on why 65 per cent of Singaporeans did not vote for him.

But let's be fair! Apply the same logic here. I'd urge Dr Tan Cheng Bock, Mr Tan Jee Say, and Mr Tan Kin Lian to reflect on why respectively 65.15%, 74.98%, and 95.09% of Singaporeans did not for them.

So there.

And let me end this post with this quote by Richard Nixon: "You must never be satisfied with losing. You must get angry, terribly angry, about losing. But the mark of the good loser is that he takes his anger out on himself and not his victorious opponents or on his teammates."

Had it been down to a straight fight with former Deputy Prime Minister Tony Tan, Dr Tan Cheng Bock felt he would have stood a "much better chance" in the Presidential Election (PE).

Speaking at a press conference yesterday, Dr Tan Cheng Bock, 71, said: "I'd like to believe that those who voted for Jee Say and Kin Lian, they're unlikely to vote for Tony. But I'll expect more spoilt votes then."

Dr Tan also revealed how close the fight between the two frontrunners was as the last votes were being counted.

He said: "We were neck to neck all the way. Sometimes I'm ahead, sometimes he's ahead."

Dr Tan Cheng Bock added that the race was too close to call even until the point when about 80 per cent of the total votes cast were counted. At that point, "we were both at 35 per cent", he added.

He said he believed that it was the votes from Sembawang - which Dr Tony Tan used to represent as an MP - that gave Dr Tony Tan a push towards the finish line. When asked if he thought he could have done better, Dr Tan Cheng Bock said: "I think I've done my best. I've covered all the ground and all my men have done a very good job."

'PAP split right down to the middle' over PE

Dr Tan Cheng Bock noted that although he had used social media during his campaign to connect with young Singaporeans, it was the mailers which he had sent out to homes all over the island that proved effective. He said: "Without them, many people would not have known about me."

Dr Tan said he believed many in the People's Action Party voted for him, especially those in the grassroots. Claiming there is "definitely a division in the PAP", the former PAP member said: "Many of the grassroots openly tell me they support me ... it's reflected in the votes. We were so close. The PAP is split right down the middle."

When asked if contesting the election has soured his relationship with the PAP, Dr Tan said: "We have to accept there are differences of opinion. Some are very close to the party and that all depends ... many old MPs have also come out to support me. It's two camps ... so it's quite level."

Dr Tan Cheng Bock reiterated that Dr Tony Tan - who received 35.19 per cent of the votes - has his work cut out for him and that the ruling party will have to take a "critical look at their own way of doing things".

Several political watchers have suggested that Dr Tony Tan invite Dr Tan Cheng Bock to sit on the Council of Presidential Advisers.

At his press conference yesterday, Dr Tony Tan said in response to the suggestion that he would consider who to nominate to the council later when he formally assumes the highest office in the land.

On his part, Dr Tan Cheng Bock said if he were approached by Dr Tony Tan, he would have to "think carefully". He added: "It depends on whether we share common ground ... It's quite a serious decision."

On his plans, Dr Tan Cheng Bock said he would not be joining any political parties as he wants to continue "unifying Singaporeans". He also said he may go back to medical practice and continue to monitor developments in Singapore. Through his Facebook and blog, he will continue to contribute comments and suggestions on various issues. He added: "As ex-politicians, we don't just slowly fade away."

From Today, "'I would have done better in a straight fight'".

IF It had only been a two-way fight - Dr Tan Cheng Bock would have won, said his supporters.

It was a neck-and-neck race between him and former deputy prime minister Tony Tan all the way until about 4.30 this morning.

After a recount that started after 1am today, Dr Tan garnered 737,128, or 34.85 per cent of the valid votes.

He lost by 0.34 per cent, or 7,269 votes to Dr Tony Tan's 744, 397.

This result might not have been so, had the other two candidates withdrawn from the race.

Dr Tan's principal election agent, MrG. K. Singam, 73, told The New Paper on Sunday: "The entrance of Tan Jee Say and Tan Kin Lian as candidates definitely diluted Dr Tan's vote.

"If it had just been a two-way fight, Dr Tony Tan would have definitely lost."

Another member of Dr Tan's campaign team, who declined to be named, said: "If Mr Tan Jee Say did not contest, then Dr Tan would have surely won."

Singapore Management University (SMU) assistant law professor Eugene Tan said there were several reasons why Dr Tan Cheng Bock lost to Dr Tony Tan.

One was that "he was seen as being aligned with the PAP, notwithstanding his efforts at distancing himself".

The second was that Dr Tony Tan was better known, and the tacit endorsement for him from the Government gave him an advantage.

Said Mr Tan: "They were both drawing votes from the same voting bloc, with Dr Tony Tan perceived as having stronger credentials, particularly in economic and financial matters." Despite this, Mr Tan had praise for his campaign.

He described it as a "steady and confident campaign" that "grew from strength to strength, and slowly but surely captured the imagination of Singaporeans".

Mr Tan also felt that if campaigning had gone on for "another few days, the likelihood of Dr Tan Cheng Bock's victory may well be greater".

Pointing out some of the campaign's highlights, he said Dr Tan's messages on unity and the need to unify Singapore and Singaporeans were a reflection of the "seasoned politician" in him.

Dr Tan had stressed during his campaign that he saw the role of president as a "unifying figure" to bring people together.

Mr Tan also noted Dr Tan's ability to reach out and engage Singaporeans from all walks of life.

"The ability to bridge divides made his candidacy even more valuable," he said.

Senior research fellow Dr Gillian Koh of the Institute of Policy Studies said on air yesterday that Dr Tan's message of multiculturalism was a "powerful one" and "central to the Singapore identity".

She also felt that Dr Tan had a broad base and tugged at voters' heartstrings.

Mr Tan added that it was at Dr Tan's "unifying rally" that this ability was demonstrated - 13 ordinary Singaporeans spoke about how he impacted their lives.

If he had to pick a "high" in Dr Tan's campaign, Mr Tan said the rally was it.

Unifying Singapore

"It was not about criticising government policies, or stoking anger, angst and frustration. It was about people coming together to work towards the good of Singapore. There (at the rally) the thrust of his campaign as unifying Singapore became tangible; real," he said.

And out of the four rallies, his stood out as it was the only one to use sign language to communicate with the hearing-impaired.

Yesterday, as he visited about 10 polling centres around the island through the day, he was greeted warmly and even saluted at some of the polling stations.

Staying consistent with the image he portrayed throughout his campaign, his gentlemanly manner was evident yesterday.

When Mr Kelvin Chng, a photographer with The New Paper on Sunday, slipped and fell yesterday, Dr Tan rushed to help him up.

He also asked Mr Chng several times after that if he was fine.

In the afternoon, Dr Tan met fellow candidate Dr Tony Tan.

When the latter asked if they could shake hands, Dr Tan replied: "Sure."

Dignified to the end, Dr Tan showed that the campaign was beyond himself.

His campaign symbol, a palm tree, directed people to think about Singapore's multiracial society rather than just him.

He had said that even if he lost, he would "walk out of the Presidential Election honourably and feel proud" about doing a good job.

Addressing his supporters at Jurong East Stadium this morning, he said: "So we've lost. But we've also won...I won't close my door.

"I won't stop here. I'll continue to engage Singaporeans. In our own special way, we must always be a family. Go home, thank you so much for coming."

From Asiaone, "To the end he remains dignified".

Mr Tan Jee Say has congratulated President-elect Dr Tony Tan for having won the election.

Mr Tan said he looks forward to Dr Tan performing the duties and responsibilities of the office of President in a fair and honourable manner. He also congratulated Dr Tan Cheng Bock and Mr Tan Kin Lian for their earnest campaign.

Mr Tan, who said this in a statement on Sunday, noted that Dr Tony Tan has pledged to work for all Singaporeans, including those who did not vote for him. He urged Dr Tan to reflect on why 65 per cent of Singaporeans did not vote for him and to consider their concerns and interests.

He said one such main concern is the transparency over Singapore's national reserves, adding that Singaporeans want to know how much are in the reserves and how they have been invested.

Mr Tan urged Dr Tan to use the moral authority of the President to do positive things for Singaporeans and unify the nation.

He said the President must work with the government to put the happiness of all Singaporeans at the heart of every government policy.

Mr Tan, who described the presidential election as a well-fought campaign, added that he will continue to contribute to the nation.

From Channel NewsAsia, "PE: Tan Jee Say congratulates Tony Tan".

At about 1.30am, when it became apparent that he was no longer in the running for the highest office in the land, presidential candidate Tan Jee Say - who had refused to concede defeat until then - congratulated the new President-elect for a good fight and a campaign well done.

But in giving his assessment of his own performance, Mr Tan, 57, felt that if he had more time to explain himself to people, he would have garnered more votes.

Speaking at a press conference held on the field at Bedok Stadium as a recount was underway Mr Tan conceded that his public persona had been a difficult one to shake off and that, given only the nine days of campaigning, the public image of him as someone who is "confrontational" might have cost him votes.

Mr Tan, an investment adviser, pointed out that "midway" through the campaign, "more people began to know more about me and what I stood for, and I was able to reply to many of the criticisms, allegations against me".

He added: "If I had been given a longer period of time, I would have been able to convince more people. But the period is quite short, so it's not easy within that period to reach out to so many people."

Mr Tan's long-time friend, Dr Ang Yong Guan, who was also at the stadium, concurred.

"He toned it down towards the end ... but I think the label had stuck," said Dr Ang, who had run alongside Mr Tan as a Singapore Democratic Party candidate in May's General Election.

Mr Tan said three months of campaigning - as is practised in some countries - would have been a "more reasonable" time-frame for voters to scrutinise the candidates better.

And, while he acknowledged that he had a lot of support in cyberspace, he wished online penetration was higher.

Mr Tan charged that the mainstream media, especially one newspaper which he did not name, had tried to paint him as confrontational right up to Polling Day. "Despite my trying to say that I am not ... it's the image that has been created," he said.

Earlier, Mr Tan had appeared upbeat about his chances after he visited the counting centres at the Singapore Chinese Girls' School and Admiralty Secondary School.

But as he emerged from a third counting centre at Dunman Secondary School at around 10.45pm, news filtered out that he was out of the running.

National Solidarity Party's Nicole Seah, who was supporting Mr Tan in her personal capacity and was his counting agent, told reporters that Mr Tan had done particularly well "in some areas in the east".

She said: "All of us are very proud of him. It was a very good fight. So while we hoped that he could have been our next President, we can accept the results and look forward to greater things."

Moving forward, Mr Tan - who had resigned from the SDP to contest in the Presidential Election - was tight-lipped about whether he would rejoin the Opposition.

He said: "I will have to talk to my supporters and talk to various people before deciding on the concrete action to take."

Thanking his supporters, Mr Tan said: "In our hearts, we knew long ago that, win or lose, we had already a victory of hearts … You are already giving Singaporeans a voice, a voice that has been heard, and will continue to be heard."

Mr Tan felt that the fact that a majority of voters did not vote for Dr Tony Tan - who had the strongest links to the ruling People's Action Party - showed that "they wanted a President that could provide checks and balances on the Government".

Congratulating the President-elect, Mr Tan said: "I hope he will take into consideration the views of Singaporeans, the views expressed ... and not just be restricted to the role of the President as specified in the Constitution but use his moral authority - the soft powers - to unite Singaporeans and do positive things for Singaporeans."

From Today, "If only I had more time: Tan Jee Say".

The 40 per cent opposition vote in the May General Election (GE) did not translate into support for losing presidential candidate Tan Jee Say yesterday.

He got 25.04 per cent of the votes, coming in third.

The winner, Dr Tony Tan got 35.19 per cent. Dr Tan Cheng Bock who came in second got 34.85 per cent. MrTan Kin Lian came in last with 4.91 per cent.

Speaking to reporters at Bedok Stadium around 1.30am today before the results were announced, MrTan Jee Say, a former senior civil servant, said that if there was to be a winner other than him, he preferred Dr Tan Cheng Bock.

Mr Tan said it had been a "good fight" and that the trust gained from his supporters will "never be misplaced".

He also believed that his seemingly confrontational image had indeed cost him votes.

Mr Tan added he wished he had three months to campaign for his presidential bid.

"You can scrutinise candidates better. I am not confrontational. That's an image that has been created. I had not gone on the streets to throw stones."

People who voted for the Opposition in the GE would not simply vote for a former opposition man in the Presidential Election (PE), said Dr Reuben Wong, an assistant professor at the Department of Political Science, National University of Singapore.

"With the media blitz and debates that have been taking place, Singaporeans have been made to think more about the role of the Elected President," Dr Wong said.

Sensible voters

He believed that Singaporeans were sensible enough to differentiate between the two kinds of elections: The GE, which emphasises party platforms and policies, and the PE which stresses ceremonial and custodial roles.

"Singaporeans know that you don't vote for a president for the purpose of performing checks on the Government, which was a platform Tan Jee Say campaigned very much upon," Dr Wong said.

Associate Professor Cherian George at the Nanyang Technological University's Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information said Mr Tan's candidacy probably worked to rival Dr Tan Cheng Bock's advantage.

"Mr Tan Jee Say might have directed votes which did not favour Dr Tony Tan towards Dr Tan Cheng Bock, because he came across as too confrontational or too young," said Dr George.

Dr Wong added that Mr Tan also lost because of his inability to convince voters that he was above party politics.

The 57-year-old stressed throughout his campaign that he did not have "emotional ties" to the People's Action Party (PAP), having never been a member of it.

But this might not have worked to his advantage, Dr Wong asserted.

"In addition to the enduring image that he is confrontational, he couldn't convincingly answer to the charge that presidents should not be partisan and be above party politics.

"In my opinion, he wasn't able to assure voters that he would not discriminate against the PAP," he said.

But Dr George said Singaporeans should not forget who Mr Tan was up against.

"Dr Tony Tan is a household name, and Dr Tan Cheng Bock relatively well-known.

"To even get a single percentage point away from these candidates is something that is extremely difficult," he said.

The father of four had been optimistic about his chances throughout Polling Day.

Earlier, after casting his vote at St Stephen's School at Siglap View, Mr Tan felt that his views had "resonated with the people".

The intermittent downpour yesterday did little to dampen the spirits of Mr Tan, who commented that he saw the showers as a blessing.

He added that his wife was his lucky charm.

The Oxford University graduate studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics on a government scholarship before joining the civil service for 11 years.

He later joined the private finance sector, and is currently an investment advisor. He stood in this year's GE as a candidate with the opposition Singapore Democratic Party. So will we see him in the next election?

Said Mr Tan: "I will have to talk to my supporters and see what role I can play."

From Asiaone, "Lack of opposition votes costs him".

Candidate Tan Jee Say all but conceded defeat this morning, attributing his loss to what he said was a short campaign period and his portrayal by the media as confrontational.

He also lacked brand recognition among older Singaporeans and said he would have preferred it if he had greater online penetration.

Speaking to reporters at Bedok Stadium at about 1.30am just as the Elections Department announced there would be a vote recount, Mr Tan, 57, said he was not conceding just yet as he could do so only when the official results are out.

But in comments that had all the ingredients of a concession speech, he thanked supporters for 'giving me your trust' and said his opponents had put up a good fight.

From Straits Times, "Campaign time was too short, says Tan Jee Say".

Less than two hours after the counting of the votes got underway, Presidential candidate Tan Kin Lian, 63, already knew his chance of becoming the Republic's next President was all but gone.

At 10.15pm, after visiting a third counting centre at Anderson Primary School, he conceded defeat.

The former NTUC Income chief executive officer, who started his career in 1966 in the actuarial department of a life insurance company, said: "I'm a statistician, so I know from those analyses that I will lose this election."

Mr Tan, who had campaigned on the platform of being the "voice of the people", garnered 4.91 per cent of votes - which means he will forfeit his S$48,000 deposit. A candidate must have more than 12.5 per cent of the votes to get his deposit back.

Later, speaking to reporters at a supporter's house, Mr Tan said he was somewhat disappointed, but he believed that he had put up a good fight. He had also expected to do much better, he added.

Asked if he would run again in any election, Mr Tan, who had spent between S$60,000 and S$70,000 on his campaign, said: "By next election, I'll be 69. I'll have to consider if I'm too old by then. But I'm open to future contests."

Mr Tan's supporters, numbering about 50, had gathered at a family friend's house at Begonia Drive in Yio Chu Kang for the election results. They were later joined by Mr Tan.

The mood remained relatively jovial, with laughter breaking out occasionally even as disappointing news of Mr Tan's performance in the polls spread.

The gathering broke up at 1.15am before the official results were announced as Mr Tan said "it was getting late".

With the front-runners clear, he said both Dr Tony Tan and Dr Tan Cheng Bock have "great strengths to represent the people of Singapore".

Mr Tan's daughter, Ms Tan Su Ling, 35, said: "It was quiet (in the house when they first heard of the results) but people were not sad. It was disappointing but we've put up a good fight. It was a good cause and we are proud of that."

The owner of Bollywood Veggies farm, Mrs Ivy Singh-Lim, who also spoke at Mr Tan's election rally, said: "We tried our best and he (Mr Tan) did a good job … he didn't get zero votes, so there are people listening to him and people agreeing with him."

Thanking his supporters and voters, Mr Tan said: "I want to thank all those who have voted for me. The campaign has been a good experience for my campaign team and for me … I will continue to be the voice of the people through other channels and I want to ask all those who support that idea to come forward."

Mr Tan said he will set up a website called the "Voice of the People", where he will invite Singaporeans to give their feedback.

He will also "put in place a process to handle these feedback" on issues affecting large numbers of people, such as housing and transport.

When asked what could have gone wrong in his campaign, Mr Tan said: "Most of them (Singaporeans) are not aware of the candidates and the platform. Perhaps nine days of campaigning is too short."

Asked if he may have lost some votes to former senior civil servant Tan Jee Say, Mr Tan said: "I have campaigned on a different platform. I have never campaigned on an Opposition platform. So I don't think I have lost that vote. I wanted to reach out to Singaporeans who want someone who is neutral and non-partisan. I think that message has not gone through."

Mr Tan was a People's Action Party member for 30 years but left in 2008 because he said that he disagreed with the party's value system.

After throwing his hat into the ring, there was speculation that Mr Tan might withdraw from the race before Nomination Day to avoid splitting the votes with Dr Tan Cheng Bock and Mr Tan Jee Say.

However, Mr Tan Kin Lian duly filed his nomination papers on Aug 17, saying that many people had encouraged him to contest because they wanted a completely non-partisan candidate.

From Today, "Disappointed, but Tan Kin Lian will continue to be 'voice of the people'".

He championed the investors' cause when they lost their life savings during the 2008 economic meltdown and mini-bonds crisis.

But yesterday, presidential candidate Tan Kin Lian, 63, ended up losing money. He forfeited $48,000 - the deposit each of the four hopefuls gunning to be Singapore's seventh president had to put up.

The former NTUC Income chief garnered 103,931 votes, or 4.91 per cent of votes, less than the 12.5 per cent required to keep his money.

The winner, Dr Tony Tan, 71, received 744,397 votes, or 35.19 per cent.

Failure had a price.

Besides the election deposit, Mr Tan spent close to $70,000 on the campaign trail, his son, Boon Keng, 28, told The New Paper on Sunday.

Conceding defeat 2 1/2 hours after voting closed, Mr Tan told the media gathered at his supporter's Begonia Drive house: "I'm somewhat disappointed..."

He added: "Whatever the result, it's a win for Singapore...Both Dr Tony Tan and Dr Tan Cheng Bock have great strengths to represent the people of Singapore as president. I wish them all the best and I would like to give them any views or assistance they may need from me."

His poor showing was expected, said Nanyang Technological University associate professor Cherian George.

He said: "Tan Kin Lian had some experience as an activist, but no experience as a politician, so it was hard for him to translate his beliefs into an effective campaign."

Political observer and Singapore Management University law lecturer Eugene Tan said the four-cornered fight affected Mr Tan's chances.

He said: "In a crowded field, he became the forgotten candidate. Perhaps he suffered from a credibility problem right from the word go.

"His 2009 effort to secure 100,000 signatures before he would run for presidency did not succeed. His decision to run in 2011 was greeted with some amount of doubt and incredulity."

"(As the bottom candidate,) Tan Kin Lian was outflanked on the right by Tan Cheng Bock and on the left by Tan Jee Say," said Dr George.

In the end, Mr Tan's pledge to be the voice of Singaporeans fell short at the polls. During campaigning, he had highlighted his record of speaking out on people's behalf.

"While he's seen as someone who spoke up for investors who were misled, the good Samaritan or David vs Goliath approach did not necessarily translate to wider perceptions of suitability for the President's office," said Prof Tan.

On the morning of Polling Day, Mr Tan had said the loss of his deposit would be "quite unexpected".

Asked about his chances then, a relaxed Mr Tan had said: "I believe this contest will be very close...There is a large group of people in the silent majority making a decision and I am quite confident that I will do well."

His homemaker wife, Mrs Vivian Tan, 55, added: "It's fate. There's nothing to worry about."

Husband and wife turned up at Pei Hwa Secondary School, their designated voting centre, around 10.20am yesterday. While the high-fives continued into the night, the mood in Mr Tan's camp had turned sombre.

Daughter Su Ling, 35, said: "That's what real courage is, to run even if the odds are against him. We're proud of him."

National University of Singapore political analyst Reuben Wong attributed Mr Tan's loss to some mis-steps, including the latter's decision to stay on the General Election sidelines in May.

Without a natural constituency, Mr Tan's lack of support from the opposition parties hurt his chances, too, Dr Wong added.

Other low points, which Mr Tan himself highlighted, were former civil servant Tan Jee Say's entry into the presidential fray.

Asked if Mr Tan Jee Say's campaign had affected him, Mr Tan said early this morning: "I've campaigned on a different platform...I wanted to reach out to Singaporeans who want to have someone who is neutral and non-partisan. I think the message hasn't gone through."

The turning point in Mr Tan Kin Lian's campaign came when he offered "populist proposals", said Prof Tan.

He added: "These were not really within the ambit of the elected presidency's office as delineated in the Constitution. But the proposals thrown up made him look opportunistic and that only took more wind out of his sail at the closing stages of the campaign."

By 9.40pm last night, as Mr Tan left Tampines North Primary School, he admitted: "It doesn't look good."

He conceded he lost the fight less than an hour later after leaving Anderson Primary School.

But it is not the end of the road for the visibly tired grandfather, who had been up since 5am.

He plans to set up a Voice of the People website and has not written off a future presidential or parliamentary bid: "This experience has been very good for me to learn about contesting an election, so I am open to future contests."

I want to know what can be improved. I don't know why (I lost) and I hope people will tell me. I want to hear their reason."

From Asiaone, "He was outflanked".

He should, perhaps, have cut down on the 'high five' greetings and been more conscious of his excessive blinking.

Former NTUC Income chief Tan Kin Lian, a losing candidate in the presidential race, listed these 'negative points' of his campaign, culled from an online feedback exercise he conducted.

'I was disappointed with my low score in the presidential campaign. Please share your feedback in this survey,' he said on his blog at 2.15am yesterday - before the official results were announced, and nearly four hours after he conceded defeat.

Eight hours and more than 100 responses later, he revealed the top six negatives and top five positives of a campaign that had cost him his $48,000 election deposit.

From Straits Times, "'High five and excessive blinking hurt Tan Kin Lian's campaign'".

Mr Tan Kin Lian, the former NTUC Income chief who contested and lost his deposit at the recent Presidential Election, said he admits there were a few weaknesses in his campaign strategy, image and messaging.

Releasing a statement on Wednesday on his campaign, he said running for the election cost him and his donors $120,000, which includes the election deposit of $48,000.

He added that it also cost him a dent to his reputation as he "become the candidate with the least votes".

He also referred to online chatter saying he should have withdrawn on Nomination Day.

Mr Tan said he went ahead to contest on Nomination Day, ignoring an online poll which showed he had low levels of support.

The former NTUC Income chief said he had banked on support from the more than 1 million NTUC Income policyholders, heartlanders and those whom he spoke up for during the recent financial crisis.

Adding that voters on Nomination Day were also still undecided, he said "wisdom of hindsight never fails".

He said he had already congratulated Dr Tony Tan for winning a hard-fought contest.

From Channel NewsAsia, "PE: Tan Kin Lian admits weaknesses in campaign strategy".

5 Singapore Independent Documentaries to take us from China to prostitutes to sex

'Post love' on superficial viewing comes across as a tacky exploration of love and lust among the elderly with it's expressionistic and sometimes 'cardboard-like' portrayal of certain situations. But the documentary digs deep and is not afraid to ask the awkward questions. So the sketchy touches really belie a refreshing eye on an issue that's always been around.

Through a series of interviews with various silver-haired folks, we dig into the psyche of their amorous selves or rather what's left of it. While the stereotypes of the old men and their undying lust tended to surface, to humourous effect, the film did reveal what older women felt about finding love which was compelling. (Women are shown to be undeniably more resilient than men, unfortunately for me!) Among others, there is the reality of menopause, and old men seeking pleasures elsewhere when their wives are no longer up to it.

Beyond the tokenistic re-enactment of various familiar situations, this film has more bite than you think. It is not afraid to pose awkward questions to dirty old men and it stretches our visualisation of what could be post-menopausal/retirement/grandparenthood love with impressionistic illustrations of what it is trying to explore- old people in love and sex.

The film could have done one thing more justice though - it's exploration of age through getting two young actors to transform themselves could have been taken beyond the illustrative to the exploratory. It would have been interesting to know how two young people woul feel when put on the fast track to 'menopause'!

If there was one documentary that embodied the spirit of independent filmmaking, it would have been 'JoJo', rightly placed after Post-Love for its dealings with the same turf of 'lust'. JoJo eschews the traditional format of establishing a subject, getting points of views, forming conclusions etc, it goes straight into the epicentre of it all and documents it - the fish tank.

The fish tank for those who are unfamiliar is where you choose your ware. Girls, with number tags pasted on their hips sit under the LED mood enhancing lighting as the 'shop's display' for customers to make their selection. Like commodities, they are literally scrutinised and even fall into different grades and origin-driven classes that determine their price.

Alright, it does not take a genius to make this expose. But it takes lan audacious spirit to plant a camera in a bag and walk straight into a brothel to document the world inside. And if that is not enough, ask the girl for an interview.

While the film did not seem deliberately structured, there was a semblance of narrative progression and even closure to it. These subjects are first viewed with distant curiosity, then one let's us one step closer into her life and it ends with a payoff glimpse of her albeit with a ironic blonde wig that seems to work against her attempt at mimicry.

The title 'Comfort' in this portrait of a taxi driver is aptly humourous. The short film is the filmmaker's ode to his father who is a taxi driver who drives his taxi with a huge dose of pride. Something though not unseen but rare in Singapore. Before we whine about how taxi driver stories are 'done to death', the unscripted, unabashed nature of the taxi driver's banter with the camera draws us in.

While being a day-in-the-life-of journey, the 'touch of comfort' is the straight talking touch of the driver. Of course it helped that driver is the father of the filmmaker which made him 'obligated' in a way to complete the video journey and also be a little more comfortable about hamming it up for the camera. But you also got to give it to the filmmaker for asking the right questions, holding the 'record' at the right moments and editing it to give comic punctuation to what was virtually a monologue by the driver. There was of course one moment when his own vehicle did the talking - the LED mood lighting from underneath, and if u are observant, the LED stars on the car ceiling, like a kind of payoff to the title 'comfort'.

Before the film seems a little too exploitative, the filmmaker delightfully draws the connections between the driver and the people around him as well. Not just the passengers (of whom or was surprisingly captured in an interview), but the people close to his life as well, his daughter and not least of all, the person behind the film, his son. Effectively opening us up to the world beyond the driver's seat, extending the axes of vision for the audience beyond the typical cross- seat mid shot that a car space would only allow. Most importantly, it made the driver look less like an attention seeker who is desperate to entertain.

 'Train ride' the film is like a photographer's collection of lyrical parting shots of a subject, narratively loose but visually pretty. At the core, it is a visual essay to lament the end of the train's useful life in Manzhouli in China, virtually a series of postard-pretty images put together, peppered with soundbite from people within the community. Intimately framed shots aside, the filmmaker also puts his own shadow into the programme by documenting his interaction with the train staff right in the intimate confines of the driver's cabin. Yet, the film seems to be in a strange kind of paradox - you are physically close enough to the characters but never really close enough to the emotional core of the issue. Like a travelogue, the film is pretty but you are really looking at it like a tourist catching a visual steal of a monument only knowing that it's important and you need to get that camera rolling, never mind that it means little to you.

'Roots' hinges on what seems like a random choice of 2 student profiles in China - one is an ethnic Chinese, bred in Canada paying a hometown visit while the other is a Mexican who studying in China.  The film explores identity and no surprises for guessing this if you saw a clue in the title of the film. The subject is trite but the two profiles are interesting. Perhaps the filmmaker is trying to pit two opposites of the concept of culture shock (a reverse culture shock to be exact for the Canadian-bred Chinese.

While the Sean, Chinese boy sprouts nothing off the expected in his interview (relating to his Chinese roots and being proud even though he was bred in Canada), the filmmaker has selectively and wisely documented some 'threshold' moments of putting his cultural affinities to the test, like conversing with the taxi driver and following his family to the graves of his grandparents for Ching Ming (remembering the dead). While blending in with his relatives like part of the family, his bigger physique, almost like a testament to a North American upbringing, spoke as much for his sense of 'alienation' as much as what he verbally said. There was a particular scene at the dinner table where the family, almost too big for the table had to huddle around it and he stood out for his size among his relatives who have lived on a leaner Chinese diet. But of course, his visit was not not staying put at alientation but had a sweet ending to when he finally revisits the objects and things he left behind, including a chair his grandfather used to sit on - a distant memory that still rekindles that warm fuzzy feeling.

The story of the Adrian, the Mexican student presented the flip side of the card, a sense of getting away from one's original culture, dislocating oneself and trying to find a new sense of belonging and identity. A first glance seems to tell me this chapter is about China's progress on wold domination, everyone's moving here to learn Mandarin. But it is also about borders and cultural lines disappearing among peope today. He said with his kids, he wants them to master English, Spanish and Mandarin. It is tough enough handling two languages in Singapore, you begin to wonder if such parental imposition of culture is ever justified. But we are back to the concept of upbringing again and how blind we all are to influences when are young like an empty glass, which in a way makes a loose connection to Sean's cultural assimilation in Canada. So perhaps, if you think about Sean and Adrian deeply, they are not so randomly paired after all, for the filmmaker is really seeking to paint a snapshot of 2 people at busy crossroads.

'The Impossibility of Knowing', by Tan Pin Pin, which was screened as part of the Singapore selection of short films had been reviewed earlier as part of the Singapore Biennale.

Article by Jeremy Sing

Dr Tan Cheng Bock claimed PAP grassroots were being 'told by others' whom to vote?!?!

With regards to Dr Tan Cheng Bock's allegation that there were many of the grassroots openly come and tell him they support me in spite of being told by others not to, I'd have to quote the newly elected Singapore President Dr Tony Tan: "I think this is a very serious charge" and that Dr Tan Cheng Bock "must be able to back it up!". (The quotes were referring to this post, "Tony Tan vs Tan Jee Say: 1 - 0".)

A presidential election to find a Head of State to unite Singaporeans has ended up splitting the electorate.

And a lot of effort is needed to close up the deep division, said Dr Tan Cheng Bock who lost by a razor-thin margin of 0.34 per cent against Dr Tony Tan, who captured 35.19 per cent of votes and is Singapore's seventh President.

Speaking to the media at his home, Dr Tan Cheng Bock said: "You see, you must never run away from the issue. If it's divisive, you can't say oh cannot do. All the more you have to make the effort. That will make people wake up to have that aim for the whole of Singapore."

Dr Tan told reporters that the new President-elect will have to re-examine the focus of his six-year presidency.

"You have to watch over the couple of months how he's going to convince the other 65 per cent who didn't vote for him. Knowing that his strength is in the economy, he has to put some effort into the ground, because you can't just look after the external area - you have to concentrate on your people."

Dr Tan, who was a member of PAP until May this year, also said that the ruling party needs to take a good hard look at itself.

"There's definitely a division in the PAP. I can see many of the grassroots openly come and tell me they support me in spite of being told by others not to. They obviously abandoned that expected stand and it's reflected in the votes. The PAP split is right down in the middle. But I'm no longer in PAP.

"The party will need to take a critical look at their own way of doing things. They have to learn how to fight again. They have lost their fighting skills. They must learn from me." His comment was greeted with laughs from around the room.

Dr Tan said he will not return to the PAP but he will give advice to the party if his advice is sought.

From Asiaone, "Cheng Bock: Division among S'poreans and PAP".

My forecast was fairly 'almost there' - Dr Tony Tan won with 35.19% of total votes!!

In this post, "Dr Tan Cheng Bock shall win the Presidency with 42% votes", I forecast that Dr Tony Tan will gain 36% of total votes. Actual: 35.19%. Not bad, huh? Quite accurate if I may say. Heh.

No, it's actually wrong. That post only considered a scenario involving 3 Presidential candidates. Mr Tan Jee Say was not included in the equation. Well, it makes me wonder what if Mr Tan Jee Say did not run for the Presidency, would Dr Tan Cheng Bock be the President?

Do not get me wrong. Both candidates (Dr Tony Tan & Dr Tan Cheng Bock) are great choice for being the President. Not a surprise the former barely won the race with a decisive 7,296 votes!!

Anyway, congratulations President Tan!

For those who might have missed out his rally. Check out this clip, "Tony Tan's Rally Speech, Boat Quay, Aug 24".

Dr Tony Tan was declared the winner of Singapore's presidential election early Sunday morning after a recount gave him a razor-thin margin.

Dr Tony won a total of 744,397 votes. This was 35.19 per cent of the total votes cast. He won by a margin of 7,269 votes, or 0.34 per cent of the valid votes.

His closest contender was Dr Tan Cheng Bock, who won 737,128 votes, or 34.85 per cent of the votes cast,

Mr Tan Jee Say secured 529,732 votes, or 25.04 per cent of the valid votes.

Mr Tan Kin Lian obtained 103,931 votes, or 4.91 per cent of the valid votes. He will forfeit the $48,000 deposit.

There were 37,826 rejected votes. A total of 2,153,014 votes were cast.

In a speech to his supporters, the President-Elect thanked his wife Mary and his family, as well as his campaign team and supporters.

He also thanked the other three candidates who have "campaigned with vigour" as they have "given Singaporeans a choice". He says he will strive to be the best possible president he can be for all Singaporeans.

"Please support me and join me and my team... to build a better tomorrow for Singapore," he said.

From Asiaone, "Dr Tony Tan is Singapore's seventh president".

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has released a statement commenting on the 2011 presidential election, and congratulating Singapore's third elected president, Dr Tony Tan.

In his message, PM Lee said he has called Dr Tan to assure him of the government's full cooperation.

He also stated that he had "called Dr Tan Cheng Bok to thank him and his supporters for having fought an effective and dignified campaign."

Moving forward, PM Lee urged Singaporeans to come together to face future challenges, now that the election is over.

Below is his statement, in full:


This is the first Presidential Election in 18 years. It is good that Singaporeans have had the chance to vote for their next President, and to focus on what the elected President is about. I thank the four candidates for putting themselves forward.

Voters have chosen Dr Tony Tan as our Head of State, to represent us at home and abroad, and to exercise custodial powers, including over reserves and key appointments.

This was an intensely fought election, and the result was very close. Dr Tony Tan and Dr Tan Cheng Bock (who had the next highest number of votes) both conveyed strong unifying messages, and declared their intention to work closely with the Government. Both have long records of public service – Dr Tony Tan in many roles in Government, and Dr Tan Cheng Bock as a highly respected backbench MP. It is reassuring that Singaporean voters recognised and valued their strengths, as well as their inclusive approach.

Voters faced a difficult choice between Dr Tony Tan and Dr Tan Cheng Bock. This explains why the winning margin is so narrow, and why the winner only gained slightly more than one-third of the total votes. Nevertheless, under our first-past-the-post system, the election has produced an unambiguous winner, who has the mandate to be the next President.

I have called Dr Tony Tan to congratulate him on his election, and assure him of my Government’s full cooperation. I also called Dr Tan Cheng Bock to thank him and his supporters for having fought an effective and dignified campaign.

Now that the election is over, we should all come together again as Singa­poreans, to tackle the challenges that Singa­pore faces, and take our nation forward.

In addition, I would like to thank the election officials for their hard work in ensuring a successful Presidential Election. It has been a massive task to run the election, with 2.15 million people voting, especially with the recount. The officials have done an excellent job.

From Asiaone, "Dr Tan has government's full cooperation: PM Lee".

Singapore's President-elect Tony Tan has said that the most "urgent" task is to reach out to all Singaporeans.

Dr Tan emphasised that the president works for all Singaporeans and he will not be an "ivory tower President", just as President S R Nathan was not.

Dr Tan said this at a press conference on Sunday afternoon, just hours after being elected.

When asked his thoughts about the tight race and his winning margin of just 0.34 percentage points over his closest rival Dr Tan Cheng Bock, Dr Tony Tan said his results were "decisive" in Singapore's first past-the-post system.

"We should look forward to see what we can do rather than look backwards as to the narrow victory, the votes for the other candidates and for myself," Dr Tan said.

"I anticipate that this will be a subject for much commentary and analysis by political commentators and pundits in the coming days and months and I look for ward to reading their views and to see what they make of the elections.

"But as for myself, it's over; now, the question is we have to concentrate on the real work which is what we can do to make Singapore a better place and give Singaporeans a better quality of life."

Dr Tan's priority is to unite an electorate which some have said are polarised in their political views.

"I'm reaching out to all Singaporeans, not only those who support me but also those who have supported other candidates.

"The president must work for all citizens, regardless of who they (voted for); the president must be above politics. He cannot identify himself with any one party.

"All of us have a common destiny in Singapore, whatever party you belong to, whether you vote for me or did not vote for me, I will continue to work for all of you and I think that in the coming years, I will work to unify Singaporeans, heal some of the divisions that exist now and emphasise the need for unity and a common purpose.

"In this way I am confident that we will be able to share a common purpose."

Dr Tan acknowledged that with a more vocal electorate, the process of government would be more difficult, with more confusion and slower decision making.

But he said it is good to have a diversity of views as it enriches society.

As part of the engagement process, Dr Tan wants to use various platforms, such as tea sessions and online social networks to reach out to Singaporeans.

Dr Tan also said: "I don't think it's fair to describe, for example President Nathan's tenure as being in an ivory tower. I think he's made a great effort to reach out to Singaporeans.

"I intend to do the same, not to isolate myself in the Istana but to reach out to various groups, to take an interest in particular issues and to meet a wide spectrum of Singaporeans from all walks of life, different interest groups, to work with them and for them in order to help advance their causes for the benefit of Singaporeans".

With an uncertain global economy, Dr Tan said he hopes to use his experience to help steer Singapore out of troubled waters.

"I view the global economic situation with grave concern. There are problems in Europe, in US. The credit rating has been downgraded. Japan also has its credit rating downgraded as well and many countries, including Singapore, are lowering their growth projections for this year and possibly for next year as well.

"We don't know whether all of these problems will eventually cause another global economic and financial crisis. A lot depends on the actions of government and policy makers and central bankers in the coming weeks and months. We have to monitor this very carefully and with my background in GIC as well as in OCBC.

"I have a wide circle of contacts in the global economic field. I keep up with the news and I can share these views with the prime minister and the other ministers in private meetings.

"The prime minister and his Cabinet will eventually have to make the right decisions but with the experience which I have had over 30 years, I hope that some of my insights and views will be helpful to the PM and his Cabinet when they have to make difficult and uncertain decisions."

"I think the coming weeks and months will be trying for Singapore but we have to remember that Singapore's fundamentals are strong. We have faced challenges before.

"One of the reasons why I decided to run for the presidency is to be able to make a contribution towards resolving some of these issues and helping Singapore to ride through the next crisis if it should hit us. And now that I have been elected as president, I think that will enable me to play that role but one has to recognise that the final decisions will have to be made by the prime minister and his Cabinet."

When asked about the role his wife Mary will play, Dr Tan described how she has always been a pillar of support for him.

"I know my wife Mary has always had a deep concern for people in need, particularly for the older folks; I'm sure that she will be a great first lady and she will fulfil that position with grace and distinction and make a contribution to Singapore in her own right.

"But I still look forward to her support for me as I carry out my functions in the presidency."

During campaigning, there was a lot of talk about the role and responsibility of the elected president in Singapore and Dr Tan said he believes the debate will not end here.

He said the Constitution will evolve because it is a living document and he said he'll do his best to meet the high expectations of Singaporeans.

Dr Tan will be sworn in on Thursday as Singapore's seventh head of state.

Channel NewsAsia will carry the ceremony 'live' at 7.30pm.

From Channel NewsAsia, "PE: Tony Tan lists urgent tasks".

After dropping by Radin Mas Primary School, the first and only counting centre he visited yesterday, Dr Tony Tan predicted "a long night" ahead.

And he was proven right: Some eight hours after polls closed - and following a recount - Dr Tan was elected as the Republic's seventh President.

In his victory speech at Toa Payoh Stadium where his supporters had gathered, a jubilant Dr Tan noted the "strenuous campaign" which clinched a hard-fought victory.

"It is over now. The real work begins straight away," he said to the cheering crowd.

Speaking to reporters later, Dr Tan reiterated that the "President is for all Singaporeans" and pledged to do his "utmost for each and every Singaporean", regardless of their political affiliation.

"I hope to unify Singaporeans because, at the end of the day, Singapore is our home, we share a common destiny and I think all of us should work together for the benefit for our country," he added.

Asked about the defining factor for his win, Dr Tan felt he was able to deliver a clear message to Singaporeans on what his priorities are and what he intended to do over the next six years as President.

Reflecting on the nine-day campaign, Dr Tan's daughter, Patricia, paid tribute to the campaign team of 20 members, who were aided by many helpers and supporters on the ground.

"Sometimes we read that there is a machinery behind the campaign, but we were all looking at ourselves and wondering where it was. It's really a small team (behind the campaign). On Monday, we all go back to our own jobs. We took leave from our jobs just to help out. This is the first time, for many of us, running a campaign," she added.

There was a palpable sense of relief at Toa Payoh Stadium after Dr Tan's victory was confirmed three hours after news filtered through that he had garnered about 8,000 votes more than his closest rival, Dr Tan Cheng Bock.

This was in stark contrast to the anxiety earlier. Throughout the night, the supporters were glued to unofficial updates on Twitter and the websites of news outlets as it emerged that the two front runners were neck and neck in the vote count.

After visiting Radin Mas Primary School, Dr Tan headed back to his campaign headquarters at Emerald Hill Road at around 9.20pm.

There, he linked up with his family and received visitors including former Senior Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Zainul Abidin Rasheed and former actress Sharon Au, who spoke at Dr Tan's rally.

Before leaving for Toa Payoh Stadium at around 11pm, Dr Tan told reporters that the contest was "very close" between the two front runners. But he was tight-lipped on the identities of the pair.

At the stadium, Dr Tan, his family and some campaign advisers gathered in a tent behind the main stage on the field, away from the public's gaze. Dr Tan, who was seated with his children, appeared composed, only getting to his feet occasionally.

According to daughter Patricia, he was less preoccupied with how the contest was panning out than with the effect of the long night on his two grandchildren, aged 12 and 8.

She also noted that Dr Tan was calm throughout the night and had reiterated to those around him that the election process should take its course. "That's Dr Tan's style," she said.

At about 1.10am - when the recount was announced - Dr Tan's two grandsons were brought home as he made his way to the Elections Department.

Returning to Toa Payoh Stadium afterwards, Dr Tan thanked his supporters for their patience and urged them to "stay positive".

Addressing his supporters, Dr Tan said: "I'm sorry that the counting is taking so long."

At around 4.25am, the sight of Returning Officer Yam Ah Mee on the giant screens set up at the stadium caused the supporters to surge forward.

And Mr Yam duly delivered the news that Dr Tan and his supporters had been waiting for: Dr Tony Tan was declared the winner, prompting wild cheers from the supporters.

And uniting Singaporeans was foremost on the new President-Elect's mind. "Now that it is over, we should all unite. Put aside our political affiliations. The presidency is above politics and we should build a better Singapore for everyone," he told his supporters.

Speaking to reporters later, Dr Tan said he will elaborate on his priorities as President in a press conference today.

From Today, "The real work begins now: Tony Tan".

Thy-Dowager & how a celebrity blogger is first and foremost a human too, and thus entitled for a catfight once a while...

At first I don't believe this Thegreendude Yo, especially on his claim that the so-called celebrity blogger emailed him to beg. In his words: "LOLZ! THE FAMOUS CELEBRITY BLOGGER is BEGGING ME. --->HER EMAIL TO ME.<---" (Screenshot below)

Then I saw another update on his Facebook wall:

And I re-check the celebrity blogger website, "Thy-Dowager", in particular her latest entry, "This is it, that’s my last straw. I’ve broken up with that jerk."

So I conclude the celebrity blogger is indeed Thy-Dowager and the alleged email sent Thegreendude Yo is likely from her too.

And my point is?

Well, even a celebrity blogger is a human too and deserves to be furious (or to display her berserker rage? Hur hur) once a while. It does happen. So what? Let's move on.

What annoys me is how in the video, there were 3 passers-by who chose to nonchalantly walk away?! What's wrong with you people?!?!

Screenshot from article

A celebrity blogger has been filmed having an ugly catfight outside a popular nightspot recently.

The netizen had submitted the catfight video to the Stomp website and said, "I caught this scene outside the Butter Factory the other night. If I'm not wrong, this is a celebrity blogger".

He added, "I think she should leave her dirty laundry at home! No sense of shame!"

Finally, the netizen wonders if this is a real catfight or another publicity stunt that we have been seeing in recent times.

In the video, a lady with long hair and in a mini dress told off a man, saying that she had been waiting more than an hour for him. She continues to demand, "who is the girl beside you?!" before lunging at the girl and yelling "stay away from my boyfriend!"

From, "Celeb blogger caught in catfight?".

President Tony Tan or Tan Cheng Bock?

It seems a recount is currently ongoing with 'sources' stated that Dr Tony Tan is leading by 7,600 votes over Dr Tan Cheng Bock?!

Singapore Presidential Elections - Live coverage of results

Presidential candidate Dr Tan Cheng Bock has said there could be a recount as results indicate that he and Dr Tony Tan are neck and neck in the race.

Speaking to reporters as he was leaving the Elections Department for Jurong East Stadium, he said the mood in his camp is good.

"People may realise I am the one who can unify all Singaporeans because I'm not a proxy to any party," he added.

Dr Tony Tan has declined to speak to the media before the results are out.

He is at the Toa Payoh Stadium with his wife, children and their spouses, as well as some of his grandchildren.

Meanwhile, Nicole Seah who is supporting Mr Tan Jee Say, said Mr Tan is no longer in the running.

However, Mr Tan said he cannot concede defeat until results are known.

"I want to thank all my supporters. Whether we win or lose, we have already won, with our hearts."

From Channel NewsAsia, "PE: There could be a recount, says Tan Cheng Bock".

The Elections Department has allowed the recounting of all votes cast in the presidential polls in Singapore.

The two candidates with the most votes are Dr Tan Cheng Bock and Dr Tony Tan, said the Returning Officer early Sunday morning.

The difference is not more than two per cent of the total number of valid votes cast.

From Channel NewsAsia, "PE: Elections Dept allows recount of votes".

Presidential candidates live 2nd broadcast - All the things they said...

Broadcast yesterday, Fri 26/08. This is also a follow up for this post, "Presidential candidates live broadcast - All the things they said...".

Wonderful speeches, all of them.

Presidential Candidate Broadcast (round 2): Tan Kin Lian

MY FELLOW Singaporeans, a very good evening.

My name is Tan Kin Lian. I am standing for election as President of Singapore. My vision is to improve life for all Singaporeans.

In recent years, Singaporeans have found life to be more difficult. They face strong competition for jobs, higher cost of living and have to travel in crowded public transport. They work long hours and live a stressful life. Is this the life that you want?

At this election, you can choose a President who can make life better for you. You have four candidates to choose from.

Candidate A is a good doctor, but is not an expert in financial matters. Many people are worried that he does not have the financial knowledge to make the right decisions to safeguard our reserves.

Candidate B stood in the recent General Election under an opposition party. He wants to act as a check and balance on the Government. Many people are worried that he is confrontational and cannot work with the Government.

Candidate C has been a Government Minister for more than 20 years. He was involved in the policies of the Government that have contributed to the situation today. Many people are worried that he cannot act independently of the Government to improve the situation for you.

I am candidate D - Tan Kin Lian. I had 30 years of experience in managing a large insurance company, looking after the savings of over 1 million people and assets of S$17 billion. You may remember me as the former chief executive of NTUC Income.

Among my international experience, I had served on the board of a large international organisation, the Cooperative and Mutual Insurance Federation, for more than 15 years and was elected as its chairman for five years. I was the first and only Asian to be elected as chairman of this large international body. I had met people from different countries and cultures. With this experience, I can represent our country internationally.

As you know, I have never contested in any General Election as a candidate of a political party, I am neutral and non-partisan. I will be able to independently carry out the duties of the President, particularly in exercising the duties under the Constitution to prevent abuse of power and corruption.

To help me in my task to be the voice of the people, I will form a President Personal Council to help me to keep in touch with the people and to hear your views, your concerns and aspirations.

I will be your voice to bring these issues to the Government and will work constructively with the Government to find better solutions for all Singaporeans.

During the global financial crisis in 2008, more than 10,000 people lost their life savings in the Minibonds and other similar investments, following the collapse of Lehman Brothers. Many were misled into investing in these risky investments. Some of you or your parents, or friends might have been directly affected by the loss.

During this most difficult time, I rallied a few friends to help these investors. We presented four petitions to the Government and spoke on the issue several times at Hong Lim Park.

Nobody else spoke out for them - neither the other three candidates nor the Government.

In a future crisis, when you face grave difficulties, you need someone stronger to speak for you. If you elect me as your President, I can speak out strongly for you.

To the young people of Singapore, there is hope for a better future for you and your family. You have studied hard and are prepared to work hard. You want to get a suitable job that pays well, sufficient to meet the cost of living, to raise a family, to pay for your flat and to save for retirement. You also want to have quality time with your family and friends.

This future is possible for you, if you have the right leaders - leaders who believe in honesty, fairness, positive attitude, courage and public service. These are my personal values, which I will bring to the office of the President. These are the values shared by many Singaporeans.

I am standing for election as a public duty. If I am President, I will donate at least half of the salary to charity and other worthy causes. I want to make this as an example of public service - as I strongly believe that leaders should work for the people.

As President, I will look into the following important issues.

We need to give better recognition for the sacrifice of our male citizens who have to serve National Service and reservist duties.

We need to recognise the past contribution of the elderly; especially those who do not have sufficient savings to meet their daily needs and medical bills.

We also must not forget the sandwiched middle-class, who also face financial difficulties in raising their family.

We also need to recognise the hardship of the unemployed, who need to withdraw some of their CPF savings at age 55.

Some commentators have said that the President does not have executive power to improve life for the people. They are mistaken. With a strong mandate from the people, the President will be able to use his influence on Government policies, especially when he is asked to release some of the past reserves.

To the policyholders of NTUC Income, I have served you with dedication for 30 years and given you and your family a higher payout on your savings and insurance coverage at lower premiums. I hope you will give me your support at this election.

On Aug 27, you have the chance to vote for a President who can be the voice of the people, to work constructively with the Government and to work for a better life for all Singaporeans. Give me your support. Vote for Tan Kin Lian.

Thank you.

From Today, "I'll be the voice of the people: Tan Kin Lian".

Presidential Candidate Broadcast (round 2): Tony Tan

My fellow Singaporeans, my name is Tony Tan Keng Yam.

Over the past nine days, we have been talking about the presidential candidates.

But when you cast your vote tomorrow, it is about you.

This is not an election for your local MP.

It is not an election for a political party.

You will select your Head of State. You will elect a candidate to the highest office in the land.

This is a position above politics and with critical responsibilities at home and abroad.

The President has to advance the interests of all Singaporeans, and embody Singapore to the world.

I ask you to cut through the heat of the hustings and focus on the key roles of the President.

Who do you want to represent Singapore at home and abroad for the next six years?

Who do you want to protect our financial reserves - our country's savings - in this volatile period in global markets?

Who can give investors confidence in Singapore?

Who can work with all Singaporeans to face the future with confidence? These are big questions that affect us at every level.

Singapore has a low unemployment rate of 2.1 per cent.

But if you cannot secure a job or are retrenched, you are 100-per-cent unemployed.

I want to help Singaporeans be employed and stay employed - by making sure our country has enough savings to see our people through tough times.

I decided to run for President because Singapore is my home, my passion, and where my heart is.

The US, European and Japanese economies are in trouble. Every country in the world is affected.

Singapore faces very complex challenges.

I believe I can carry out the custodial functions of the President, working with the Government to save jobs.

I have been the Minister of Finance and the head of OCBC Bank and GIC. I offer these to you as examples of my leadership, knowledge and experience.

If you elect me as President, I will do the job well. We will get through this, together.

I have spent my professional life serving Singapore.

I have contested elections.

I have run Government ministries.

I have run OCBC Bank and Singapore's sovereign wealth fund.

I can tell you today that this campaign is one of the most challenging things I have ever done.

But it has also been one of the most exciting!

I was privileged to serve the people of Sembawang for 27 years as their MP.

I worked closely with many sectors including education, finance, trade, health, defence, and national security as a Deputy Prime Minister.

This campaign has been different.

I had the freedom to speak with Singaporeans from all walks of life across the island.

As an independent candidate, I no longer toe a party line and I am free to discuss whatever issue is close to their hearts.

Two things struck me:

First, you don't need the President to be your conscience. Everyone I have met has been thoughtful, caring, and clear in their priorities.

Second, you have your own voice and you know how to use it.

Our society is vibrant because we are all different. We must encourage diversity of views. We can cherish many voices in one Singapore.

This has been a remarkable campaign - four candidates for one position.

I do not know if I will win the presidency. But I know I have to try because Singapore is my home.

During the campaign, I met the founder of Dignity Kitchen twice. He embodies the "must try and never give up" spirit.

Dignity Kitchen is Singapore's first hawker training school for disabled and disadvantaged people.

He told me how they struggled to launch this initiative.

But they did not give up. Dignity Kitchen opened in October last year.

With confidence in themselves and for the future, they faced challenges head on. We must learn from their spirit and their drive.

On another occasion, a young man asked me whether there were now too many university places, since I played a central role in establishing Singapore Management University and the new Singapore University of Technology and Design.

He wanted to know if the increase of new graduates meant greater competition for jobs.

I told him yes, there would be an oversupply of graduates - if the economy did not grow.

Economic growth allows us to do a lot of things: To invest in people, to build infrastructure and to improve amenities.

With prosperity, we have been able to provide for our families at a level unmatched in the region.

But economic growth is just one measure of a nation.

I spent my formative years at St Patrick's School and St Joseph's Institution.

These were schools run by the La Salle Brothers. They dedicated their lives to educating us.

The brothers reminded us daily that we each had an obligation to help the last, the lost, and the least.

Singapore's success cannot be judged solely by our ranking on international tables or the success of our highest flyers.

As a society, we must judge ourselves by how we care for those in need.

As President, I will work with the government, all political parties, civil society and the entire nation.

Together, we should ensure that

- the last are not left behind,

- the lost have a guiding hand,

- and the least are the first in our considerations as a democratic society.

In difficult times, we, the citizens of Singapore, must stand together as one united people. We are all Singaporeans. This is our home. This is where we have roots.

We are Singaporeans first, regardless of race, language, religion, or political affiliation.

We seek happiness, prosperity and progress for all Singaporeans.

I promise you I will make our Singapore pledge ring true.

When you vote tomorrow, I ask you to consider my experience and ability to deliver on my promises.

I can - and I will - represent Singapore at home and abroad with confidence and dignity.

I can - and I will - protect our nation's reserves, our country's savings.

I ask for your support to serve as your President.

I ask for your vote.

And I ask you for your help in building a better tomorrow.

A tomorrow we can all greet with confidence for the future.

My fellow Singaporeans, please vote for me.

Thank you very much!

From Today, "Presidency is above politics: Tony Tan".

Presidential Candidate Broadcast (round 2): Tan Jee Say

GOOD evening, my fellow Singaporeans.

Three months ago, you voted in the present Government. Tomorrow you will vote for the President of our Republic. This election will not change the Government but will make it work harder and better for you. You will want to know how I, as President, can improve your lives.

Safeguarding your interests

The Constitution has specified five areas in which the President has the power of veto over the Government to safeguard your interests. All five are important but I will focus on two areas to show how they affect your daily lives.

The first is on the national reserves. This has been accumulated from past Government budget surpluses and other sources such as land sales. So you contribute to the reserves through the taxes you pay and the prices of HDB flats that you buy. It is your money and as President will guard it zealously. If the Government needs to use it, I will make sure that it is well spent on Government projects that benefit Singaporeans directly such as schools and hospitals.

The second area is on key appointments. As President, I will scrutinise the background and track record of all Government appointees who come before me for confirmation of their appointments. I will ensure that only true talented Singaporeans are appointed who are motivated by a sense of public service and not by huge financial rewards. Re-appointments will also be subject to the same scrutiny. Only such a system of intense scrutiny will ensure the integrity and independence of key institutions such as the civil service, the judiciary and investment agencies. Singaporeans deserve this as their daily lives and savings are at stake.

Positive use of Moral Power

The veto power of the President is a negative power. I want to use the moral authority of the President to do positive things for Singaporeans.

On the use of reserves, I intend to encourage the Government to do more and utilise it to invest in the future of our Singaporeans rather than in other people's future in overseas banks or companies.

I shall also examine more closely the appointments to government bodies, statutory boards and government linked companies. I believe that there is an over concentration of power - too few people holding too many jobs within the Government. As a result, we find the same individuals occupying many different board memberships. This is not good for Singapore as it does not allow younger Singaporeans a chance to develop their skills, acumen and exposure for higher office. I will encourage the Government to cast the net wider so that more Singaporeans will be given opportunities for exposure and advancement.

Promoting Social Causes

For too long, you have been accustomed to the idea that the President has a limited ceremonial and diplomatic role. But then why the need for an Elected Presidency, with such a generous salary? In seeking the Presidency, I am not motivated by personal gain or monetary gain. As a former civil servant, I have always been driven by public service. Rather than receiving over S$25 million for six years, I intend to return the bulk of the President's pay to the people if I am elected.

I will use the office of President to promote causes that unite Singaporeans. The fast pace of change has left large sections of Singaporeans behind who feel neglected and are angry that nothing has been done to alleviate their sufferings. A President has the duty and ability to address their concerns. I will initiate programmes that will galvanise the young and the young at heart, and harness their energies to build a better Singapore. At the same time, I will do my utmost to help the poor, the sick, the under-privileged, the retrenched and the unemployed. Many have been left behind to live quiet desperate lives. It is the duty of the President to use his moral authority to help bridge the widening social divisions in our society. In order to do that, the President must have the courage to question the Government judiciously, and encourage them to do better. The President needs to exercise his powers independently, without fear or favour. We Singaporeans have had such a President before, and we need such a President again, now.

Five Qualities

I would like to tell you why I am the best man for this mission. I have five qualities that collectively distinguish me from the other three candidates.

First, I have Government service experience. For over 11 years, I interacted and worked with colleagues in other ministries to promote the interests of Singaporeans. We asked and checked each other all the time as we pursued the best solutions for Singapore's problems. I was able to work amicably with my colleagues as we respected each other. If I am elected President, I will use the same kind of amicable attitude based on mutual respect in my relationship with the Government. This should not be a problem for me as I had worked with the Prime Minister before when he was the Minister for Trade and Industry.

Second, I have experience in performing diplomatic duty as I have represented Singapore in overseas meetings and official visits.

Third, I have a deep understanding of economics and global finance through my work experience in economic planning and international banks.

Fourth, I am the only one candidate who has never been a member of the ruling party and so can truly claim to be independent of the Government without any conflict of emotions to interfere in my work, and

Last but not least, I have empathy for people who struggle to make a living. This is an important quality that will help the President heal the deep social divisions and unify the nation. I know what it is like to be poor because I came from the poor. My mother was a washerwoman who toiled day and night to bring up nine children. However hard our family worked, there was never enough and we were grateful for the generous help from friends and relatives. I know the value of community help and will promote it to make life an enjoyable experience for all.

Like you, I also value political and social stability. I have four young school-going children and I want them to grow up and pursue their dreams in a stable and friendly Singapore. As President, I will work together with the Government in a constructive and non-confrontational manner so as to preserve and protect the stable and friendly environment that will allow them and all other Singaporeans to blossom.

Vote with your Heart

My fellow Singaporeans, you will vote in a new President tomorrow. I am honoured to come before you tonight asking for your vote. The Presidential Elections Committee has certified me as a candidate of integrity, good character and reputation. It also certified me as having such experience and ability in financial affairs that I can effectively carry out the functions and duties of the President.

I know that the journey is a long and hard one. But if I walk it together with you, we will complete our journey side by side. I know that ordinary Singaporeans like you will have the courage to vote for change. You stood up decisively on May 7 and showed the way for others to follow. So come tomorrow, vote with your heart. Put a cross next to the symbol of the heart, the heart of the nation. You have the power to make a change. Use it. And vote me to be your next President.

Thank you and good night.

From Today, "Positive use of moral power: Tan Jee Say".

Presidential Candidate Broadcast (round 2): Tan Cheng Bock

DEAR voters,

We have reached the end of a spirited campaign.

In the past nine days, I have met so many Singaporeans. I will never forget all your smiles, warm handshakes, and kind words.

Tonight I would like to share with you my thoughts on what a President should be.

A President should feel for his people and empathise with them. He should be someone the people can trust and relate to. Over the last 30 years, I have met Singaporeans in my clinic, in coffee shops, and at HDB void decks almost every week. As a doctor in Ama Keng village, I treated the poor and needy. As an MP in Ayer Rajah, I solved problems for many families. I laughed and cheered with them in community events. I went to the weddings and funerals of my constituents.

Over the years, I stood up for you: For more C Class beds for the poor in restructured hospitals, for the use of CPF monies to fund your children's tertiary education, for credit counselling for those in debt. When you park for free on Polling Day, remember I also fought for free parking on Sundays and public holidays. These contributions still exist for all to see. I did it all because I love my country.

I have also stood up for Singaporeans on matters of principle, like streaming at the primary school level, and the Nominated MP scheme, which I voted against. When the Government proposed the current formula for minister's pay, I warned them of the political cost in 1994. When they pushed foreign talent policy too aggressively in 1999, I asked them to Think Singaporeans First.

Even after I left office, I cared for you by helping plan a patient centred hospital for the common man, where he could access top specialists at a reasonable cost. I have cared for you in the past and will never cease doing so.

The second important quality in a President is fairness. People want a neutral President. They do not want someone too close to the Government or the Opposition. The worst thing is a proxy President who sides with the Government or the Opposition all the time.

In this campaign, you can see that I am not backed by the People's Action Party or the Singapore Democratic Party or any other political party. I owe nobody any favours.

In fact, my volunteers come from all backgrounds. In the General Election, they were PAP or Opposition supporters. But for this Presidential Election, they set aside their differences and came together as one. We have put nation above politics. This is the kind of unity I want for Singapore.

Like my election symbol, the palm tree, my presidency will be a shelter to accommodate all Singaporeans. Regardless of whether you are from the Government or Opposition, I welcome you under its shade. This is the kind of President I want to be.

The third important quality is to have the right corporate governance expertise. In guarding the reserves, the President should be someone with the relevant knowledge. A President is there to guard your savings. We do not want a President who experiments with economic theory or someone who will take over the job of the Finance Minister. He should have relevant custodial experience.

My friends, I spent 21 years in a corporate guardian role as independent chairman of Chuan Hup Holdings, a successful Singapore public listed company. We were profitable because we practised prudent and safe corporate governance.

None of the other candidates have sat on a public listed board as chairman longer than I have. I was also appointed to boards of key subsidiaries owned by top European multi-national companies. I was an independent director at ING Asia Private Bank, and ensured it obeyed all the correct procedures in its sale to OCBC in 2009.

I have a wide range of financial experience as chairman and director in three listed and two private companies. I have handled billions of dollars on projects building your MRT system when I was director and member of the executive committee at LTA.

The fourth important quality is diplomatic experience. For 15 years, I led the Singapore European and South-east Asian Parliamentary groups. I have hosted numerous foreign diplomats from Europe and ASEAN, on behalf of the Singapore Government. Hospitality is one of my strengths and I relish the opportunity to represent Singapore with dignity, poise and grace as your Head of State.

The fifth and final quality of the President is what he wants to do when he is in office. Earlier in my first speech, I have already mentioned the physical separation of powers for public confidence and the annual statement. I now want to move on to how I intend to unify Singapore.

Only the President can bridge the political divide between political parties. As the President is the neutral Head of State, I will create occasions, venues and events, for leaders of different political parties, where they can interact socially, find common ground and Think Singaporeans First.

Singaporeans should be able to see that the political debate can occur without animosity.

Also, there are many social causes which have relevant service for the country, and the President can help champion these causes to improve Singapore's civic mindedness. I can be a bridge between active citizen groups, which have passion to provide such services, to connect with the Government.

I will promote better social cohesion among our races, and our community, through sports, multi-racial events, cultural events and charities.

I will continue to actively strengthen multiracialism which is the cornerstone of our society. For this reason, I have chosen the palm tree as my election symbol. The fronds of the tree represent the many races and cultures we have in Singapore, the trunk represents them coming together to take root in Singapore.

Lastly, let me share a little about my closest team-mate. She is my wife. Together, we have always been a team. We have consulted each other frequently. She is the backbone of our family, and she is a very capable woman. She was the former CEO of NTUC Healthcare and worked tirelessly to ensure that your medicine remains affordable. She is also currently involved in a charity supporting poor Asians in the ASEAN region through education, social enterprise, and community development. She has supported me in accomplishing my dreams, and together we hope to serve Singapore with pride and distinction. She will make an excellent First Lady.

In summary, I believe I have all the necessary qualities to be your President.

I will put nation above politics.

I will strengthen multiracialism.

I will be your unifying figure.

Vote for me.

Vote for Tan Cheng Bock as your President.

I wish you well.

Good night.

Terima kasih. Vanakkam. Xie xie ni men. Kam seah. Thank you.

From Today, "A shelter for S'poreans: Tan Cheng Bock".

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