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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