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'Today we are here as comrades who share a common vision': Tan Cheng Bock on why he is endorsing Tan Kin Lian as president

'Today we are here as comrades who share a common vision': Tan Cheng Bock on why he is endorsing Tan Kin Lian as president
PHOTO: AsiaOne

Former 2011 presidential candidate Dr Tan Cheng Bock, 83, has come out to lend his support to former opponent and current presidential candidate Tan Kin Lian, making a surprise visit at a walkabout at People's Park Food Centre early Sunday morning (Aug 27).

They were also joined by Tan Jee Say, 69, another former 2011 presidential candidate and Tan Kin Lian's proposer for his presidential bid this year. 

At a press conference held in a Chinatown TCM store this morning, Dr Tan said: "Today we are here as comrades who share a common vision."

"Today, I, Tan Cheng Bock want to plead with you to stand up for what is right. Love your country by supporting the cause for an independent candidate."

Dr Tan is chairman of the Progress Singapore Party (PSP) and was a former member of the People's Action Party (PAP).

Adding that he is endorsing Tan Kin Lian's campaign in his personal capacity, Dr Tan said that Singaporeans "want transparency and accountability", and that he's sad that the "political landscape is in such turmoil". 

He also described the criticism of Tan's "pretty girls" Facebook posts as "gutter politics", and urged voters to "not be distracted" and focus on the purpose of the election. 

This is to find an independent person for the Istana that will take care of the reserves and ensure that the country is run by people of quality, Dr Tan said.

Separately, he also expressed his disappointment that a "highly-qualified candidate like George Goh was not eligible".

'He did not offer me anything': Tan Jee Say 

Tan Jee Say then stood up to say how Tan Kin Lian, 75, brings that "personal touch" to the 2023 Presidential Election and that he hopes to help him with his "knowledge and expertise".

"He (Tan Kin Lian) did not offer me anything. And I did not ask for anything in return," he added.

"I just do what is right. And what is right is to have an independent president. And Kin Lian has all the hallmarks of an independent president."

In the 2011 presidential election, Dr Tan garnered 34.85 per cent of the vote, Tan Jee Say secured 25.04 per cent, while Tan Kin Lian received 4.91 per cent.

Tony Tan won with 35.2 per cent of the votes and became Singapore's seventh president.

Speaking at the press conference, Tan Kin Lian said that he will rely on advice from Dr Tan and Tan Jee Say to run his campaign.

He added that Singaporeans should not "miss this chance" to vote for an "independent candidate".

"We will carry on our teamwork by offering to work with the government to achieve our common goal of making life better for the people," he said.

"The three of us think like Singaporeans and we work the best for Singapore."

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