Tan Kin Lian says he's back to normal life, will visit Forest City in JB

Back to regular programming.

Belmont Lay | September 02, 2023, 06:28 PM



Tan Kin Lian, one of the three men who were vying for the presidency in Singapore on Sep. 1, 2023, ended up receiving the fewest number of votes.

His result, getting 13.88 per cent of votes cast, ended the two-time presidential candidate's bid for the Istana.

The 75-year-old previously ran for the presidency in 2011, when he got 4.91 per cent of votes.

He kept his deposit this time round.

The next presidential election, if there is one in the event more than one person is nominated, is slated for 2029.

First post, post-defeat

On Sep. 2, Tan took to posting on his social media account to announce his return to regular programming.

His first post at 8:35am on Sep. 2, read: "I am back to normal life. I will plan my next visit to Forest City."

via Tan Kin Lian Facebook


Prior to being thrust back into the spotlight recently, Tan would habitually post updates on his social media account to share about the property in Johor Bahru, Malaysia that he had bought and showcased his visits across the Causeway.

Forest City, which Tan mentioned in his first update post-defeat, was touted as an integrated residential development and private town located in Iskandar Puteri, Johor, Malaysia.

The project was pitched under China's Belt and Road initiative and is not without controversy.

Tan's previous posts about Forest City included having his selfie taken en route to the compound, as well as showcasing the security camera function in the property.

Second post: Dog is sad

In his next post at 10:07am, Tan took a photo with his dog, Cooper.

The caption of the photo read: "Cooper is sad after watching the results last night."

via Tan Kin Lian Facebook


As to Tan's own feelings about his loss, he was mainly taciturn and did not address it directly.

In the aftermath of the release of the sample count at about 11pm on Sep. 1, when it became clear that Tan had received about 14 per cent of the votes, he told the media that he wanted to "take life easy" and "live a normal life".

"I will spend more time with my grandchildren," he said.

When asked about what he thought did not go his way in the current election, Tan replied: "I would not know, so I think we will have to reflect upon that."

Calls to him by the eventual winner, Tharman Shanmugaratnam, had gone unanswered.

However, Tharman revealed on Sep. 2 afternoon during his victory lap that he managed to communicate with Tan via text messages, and characterised the exchange as "very convivial messages".

@mothershipsg convivial means jovial, jovial can mean cheerful and friendly #tiktoksg #sgnews #PE2023 ♬ original sound - Mothership

As for the true feelings of Cooper, it is a matter of interpretation.

@mothershipsg Exclwoofsive #fyp #pe2023 #sgnews ♬ original sound - Mothership

Subsequent third and fourth posts

Without taking too much time off social media, Tan fired off two posts at 10:21am and 10:33am without much context.

via Tan Kin Lian Facebook

via Tan Kin Lian Facebook


Such posts and their frequency are similar to the content that Tan posted before the past two weeks unfolded.

Fifth and sixth posts

Tan then fired off two more posts in quick succession at 11:42am and 11:47am.

via Tan Kin Lian Facebook

via Tan Kin Lian Facebook


The post about the values he espouses appears to be a throwback to the rhetoric of the election that has just concluded barely half a day ago, but it also would not have been out of place for Tan to put up something similar outside of an election and without explanation.

In his sixth post, before his social media activity ceased for at least the next seven hours, Tan once again appeared to address his emotions.

But they were firmly rooted in stoicism.

He wrote: "Last night, my friends were concerned that I might be upset by the shocking election results. I was not."

And he appeared to be embarking on "Plan B".

In his own words: "Plan B was to return to my normal life - relax and enjoy a leisurely life, and spend part of my time in Forest City."

"In my free time, I will continue to express my views on the changes that are needed to improve lives for the people."

One of his supporters had voiced a similar sentiment on the night of the election results.

The supporter characterised Tan's share of votes in 2023 as a three-fold improvement on his 2011 result.

@mothershipsg He said nobody needs to be disappointed with the result. #sgnews #tiktoksg #pe2023 #sgpresidentialelection2023 ♬ original sound - Mothership

Top photos via Tan Kin Lian Facebook