Opposition politicians' endorsement of Tan Kin Lian confuses PE & GE: Ng Kok Song

"This is not the time to politicise," he said.

Brenda Khoo | August 27, 2023, 02:31 PM

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Presidential candidate Ng Kok Song has responded to fellow candidate Tan Kin Lian's endorsement by prominent opposition figures Tan Cheng Bock and Tan Jee Say.

"Several leaders from several opposition parties [are] ganging up to endorse Mr Tan Kin Lian," he said, calling it a "very unhealthy and worrisome development" as well as a "polarisation between some members of the opposition and the government".

"The people concerned are confusing the people of Singapore. Confusing between a Presidential Election and the General Election."

Ng stressed that the Presidential Election is about unifying the people of Singapore and that the President should be a "unifying force".

Ng on Tan Cheng Bock endorsing Tan Kin Lian

"This is not the time to politicise," said Ng, who advised opposition parties to wait for the General Election if they wish to politicise an election.

"That is why I emphasised time and again that the presidential election should be by candidates who are non-partisan. Non-partisan means no party affliation, no party endorsement."

Ng also said that the endorsement of Tan Kin Lian by opposition members goes "against the spirit of the Constitution".

While the Constitution does not prohibit the endorsement of a candidate by political parties or politicians, it states that the president cannot be a member of a political party.

Ng previously called out political parties that ask their members to resign in the lead up to the Presidential Election, opining that it is not in keeping with the spirit of the Constitution.

Ng noted that while "not all opposition parties are involved in this polarisation", he also recognised that politicising and polarising are "dishonouring and disrespecting the office of the President."

He also expressed his belief that the people of Singapore want to vote for an independent candidate:

"I think the people of Singapore will begin to realise that they do not want to vote for a candidate who is going to be manipulated by several opposition parties who are supporting him or her. We must prevent the presidency from being manipulated by any political party."

Top photo by Khine Zin Htet.