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'No political party affiliations': Entrepreneur George Goh to run for president

'No political party affiliations': Entrepreneur George Goh to run for president

Local entrepreneur George Goh Ching Wah has announced his intention to contest this year's Presidential Election. 

In a press statement on Monday (June 12), Goh, who is the chairman of Ossia International Limited, said that he will contest as an independent candidate with "no political party affiliations - past or present". 

To maintain his independence, Goh, who was appointed Singapore's non-resident ambassador to Morocco in 2017, said he has also tendered his letter of resignation to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 

The 63-year-old is best known for expanding the Harvey Norman brand to Asia and founding the World of Sports retail chain.

Goh shared that he made his decision to stand for presidential election back in 2017, after the eligibility requirement for private sector candidates was raised, as he was "concerned that the more stringent conditions might lead to another uncontested election". 

Goh also pointed out that his potential competitor in the race, Senior Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, is "a long-time Cabinet minister" who has "been closely involved in public finance policies and institutions". 

He added: "Being so closely aligned with the ruling political party, the question is whether he is the right man to become president.

"This is especially so, given the President’s role in checking the Government in the two important areas concerned with the national reserves and key public office appointments." 

Ending off his statement, Goh said: "All four of Singapore’s past elected presidents were political appointment holders or from the public sector.

"It is time to have a truly independent person with a pair of fresh eyes to play the role the elected president was created for."

Goh is the second person to announce his intention to run in this year's Presidential Election, after SM Tharman. 

The Elections Department has announced that the applications for the Certificate of Eligibility and submission of community declarations for the upcoming Presidential Election will open on Tuesday. 

ALSO READ: Tharman Shanmugaratnam 'much prefers a contest' for the upcoming presidential election

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