'My message came through': Tan Kin Lian believes he did well during live presidential forum

He also brought up the previous back-and-forth between his two opponents.

Ashley Tan | August 30, 2023, 12:33 PM



Before voters go to the polls on Sep. 1, presidential candidate Tan Kin Lian conducted his final walkabout on Aug. 30 at Hougang MRT.

Reflecting on the live presidential forum that took place two days ago on Aug. 28, Tan shared during a doorstop interview that he believes he did well, and that his "message came through".

At the forum, Tan treaded on familiar ground by bringing up points previously mentioned at his walkabouts, such as his independence and experience at NTUC Income.

Cancelled his online rally

Tan added that he would be cancelling the online rally he had planned for today.

This was due to a "conflict of priorities", according to a statement on his website.

"My campaign team had to comply with formalities under the election regulations. Due to our limited resources, I decided to focus on meeting the regulations."

Tan also shared during the doorstop that preparing for the online rally would require a lot of time to coordinate and assemble his supporters and speakers.

Additionally, his team has been preoccupied with distributing posters and flyers and approving vote counting agents the past few days.

"Glad I'm out of that"

Tan also brought up the previous back-and-forth between his opponents, Ng Kok Song and Tharman Shanmugaratnam.

"I'm also glad my two opponents are discussing between themselves the problem they face."

"I'm glad I'm out of that," Tan said, adding that this way, he is able to focus on his campaign.

Ng first responded to Tharman's comments during the live forum that a presidential election is a "contest between individuals" and that people should "avoid simple labels".

Tharman added that ruling out candidates by their past political affiliation would rule out a "whole set of people... who may not be members of a political party, but who have owed their positions to their bosses, who were ministers".

Additionally, this would include construction companies that depend on government contracts or "a fund management company that depends on government monies".

Ng subsequently said that Tharman's comment about the fund management company was "clearly" directed at him, and reiterated his promise to fully divest his ownership of Avanda should he be elected.

In response, Tharman said that Ng had "misquoted" him on his reference regarding the fund management company.

Tharman said Ng seemed to have thought that because Tharman had alluded to the fact that the latter ran a fund management company dependent on government money, he was therefore not independent.

But Tharman clarified that what he meant was that it "doesn't mean you're not independent".

At a doorstop happening simultaneously at another part of Hougang, Ng describe him and Tharman as "good friends", having worked together at the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), and GIC.

"Our differences are differences of opinion, such as when we speak about the presidency. I was concerned about the system, not the individuals. I just wanted our system to be a better system, a better system in terms of having a non-partisan president."

Gifted a banana

Like his other walkabouts, Tan greeted residents and chatted with them.

Photo from Mothership

Photo from Mothership

One of them even handed him a "home-grown" banana.

Photo from Mothership

Tan, who was accompanied by his daughter, Tan Su Ling, also took the opportunity to introduce his grandson.

Photo from Mothership

Top photo from Mothership