Tharman returns to Taman Jurong Food Centre morning after victory to unify S'poreans

Same scenes as last night.

Belmont Lay | September 02, 2023, 11:45 AM



Tharman Shanmugaratnam returned to Taman Jurong Market and Food Centre the morning after becoming president-elect — and got mobbed again.

The former deputy prime minister, who won a decisive and tsunamic 70.4 per cent of votes in the 2023 presidential election on Sep. 1, was with his wife, Jane Ittogi.

They were both greeted with pineapples and garlands, as they paused every few steps to shake hands and take photos with the residents.

Start of victory lap around island

The visit, the first of several stops around the island on Saturday, is part of Tharman's victory lap.

An elderly man, who shook hands with Tharman twice at the food centre, kept saying, "Boh beh zao."

The Hokkien phrase translates directly to "no horse run", which means "incomparable" and "in a league of his own".

@mothershipsg Last night never stopped. #fyp #pe2023 #tharman ♬ original sound - Mothership

And it appeared language was not a barrier.

As he spoke in Teochew, Mrs Tharman helped translate the elderly man's well-wishes.

She said in English: "His wife told him you (referring to Tharman) were here, so he rushed to come here."

Well-wishers aplenty

He was not the only well-wisher who appeared ecstatic.

Another resident who met the 66-year-old elder statesman, told him: “Mr Tharman, you put the Tharman in Taman Jurong.”

One man, who was in a personal mobility aid, even got up to have his photo taken with Tharman.

"Ong lai, huat ah" cheer

The victory lap at the hawker centre, which is in the ward in Jurong GRC previously overseen by Tharman when he was an MP, also included a mandatory call-and-response cheer.

In between hearty pats on the back and hugs, Tharman readily obliged and shouted along during the extended "Ong lai, huat ah" cheer.

@mothershipsg Brought to you by Taman Jurong. Or rather, Tharman Jurong. #pe2023 #fyp #tharman #sgnews ♬ original sound - Mothership

Tharman is understood to be going around the island to meet other Singaporeans post-election.

He left for Marsiling after visiting Jurong West.

More reporting to come.

Top photos via Mothership