Tan Kin Lian rejects AWARE's concerns he 'objectifies' women, his daughter defends him

He invited the public to judge his posts for themselves.

Ashley Tan | August 22, 2023, 02:19 AM



Presidential hopeful Tan Kin Lian and his social media posts about "pretty girls" have come under scrutiny.

Since then, the Association of Women for Action and Research (AWARE) has raised concerns about a candidate, who is running for the Presidential Election 2023, despite having a "history of objectifying women".

Although AWARE did not mention Tan's name in their statement on Aug. 21, it came hours after Tan addressed comments about his posts during a walkabout.

Many women in the family: Tan

On Aug. 22, in the wee hours of the morning, Tan shared a follow-up statement in another Facebook post, rejecting AWARE's "allegations and insinuations" that he objectifies women.

He explained that he has remained a faithful and loving husband and father for decades.

"I do not objectify women since I have many in my family. I have been happily married to my loving wife for nearly 50 years.

We have been faithful to each other through the years and no tinge of infidelity or scandal has ever attached to my marriage."

He added that he has two daughters, a son, as well as three granddaughters and two grandsons.

Tan defended his previous social media posts, and invited the public "to judge for themselves whether they objectify or denigrate women in any way".

He also accused the media of "making a mountain out of a molehill" of this issue.

Tan's daughter steps in

Tan's daughter, Tan Su Ling, stood by her father in a Facebook post of her own.

AWARE's comments about her father's posts are "a bit overblown", she wrote.

She also echoed Tan's previous descriptions of his "pretty girl" posts as "lighthearted compliments given to a good-looking person".

This, she said, should not be equated to objectifying the person.

She added:

"As a woman and mother to two beautiful daughters, I believe that women should have the confidence to reject the simplistic notion that a compliment on their looks 'trivialises them', 'overlooks their myriad abilities and contributions' and 'reduces them solely to their appearances for personal entertainment'."

Prior to this, the Presidential Elections Committee (PEC) responded to AWARE's statement by sharing that it was unaware of Tan's social media posts before his certificate of eligibility was issued.

Additionally, the PEC stated that it does not go through every applicant's past social media posts before issuing or declining a certificate of eligibility.

The PEC added:

"Any additional facts regarding a candidate which come to public attention after the candidate's certificate has been issued, would be for the electorate's consideration and assessment before casting their votes."

Top photo from Tan Kin Lian / FB and Su Ling Tan / YouTube