Better chance with no PAP ties?

By Koh Hui Theng

SINGAPORE - There appears to be two common threads as potential candidates throw their names into the hat for the presidential election.

One, all four men have the surname Tan.

Mr Tan Jee Say, 57, yesterday joined Dr Tony Tan, Dr Tan Cheng Bock and Mr Tan Kin Lian in declaring his interest to run for office.

The other common thread is the People's Action Party (PAP). Until Mr Tan Jee Say, the Tans were all once PAP members.

For the latest Tan to join the race, the lack of a link to PAP is his greatest strength.

The former principal private secretary in the civil service said the PAP brand name has "lost some lustre because the opposition has produced some good quality people during the last GE".

He said voters are supposed to judge a candidate based on other factors, such as track record.

"(But) people will still look at a candidate's previous political affiliation, especially if it was a very strong affiliation," he added.

Does it really matter to the voter?

The New Paper asked 381 people if it is okay for the president to be an ex-member of a political party and 74 per cent said yes.

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