on October 10? (10/10 incidentally is also Taiwan’s national day if I’m not mistaken)
Even in the unlikely scenario of Mr Andrew Kuan clearing the eligibility barrier, IMHO I think the Tan-quartet is likely to stand a better chance at the ballot box. Assuming that all of them would be cleared, for if Mr Kuan is cleared, so should everyone else too, right?
So who will do the honours on the night of Oct 10?
Will it be President Tan Kin Lian who most curiously has made a trip to Batam over the week-end? It’s OK for the real president to pay one of our closest neighbours a visit, to strengthen diplomatic ties. But when a presidential hopeful does that, it seems like breaking new ground. Singapore might have been part of the Riau archipalego once upon a time but it’s now a sovereign state. And vassal-like activities don’t go well with someone who aspires to be our head of state!
Or will it be President Tan Cheng Bock, the husband of an old school-mate? He’s avuncular but he seems to take life and himself so seriously that he wears a perpetual frown. If he’s to be weighed down further by the affairs of state and the even weightier duty of signing death warrants, it will surely ensure that he would never be able to smile again — assuming Dr Tan does ever smile!
It could be my monthly lunch kaki Tan Jee Say reading out the Government’s plans for the next 5 years, his $60 billion transforming Singapore salvo probably consigned to the cabinet of wishful thinking. Still if he gets into the Istana, it’s the best consolation prize for his failed attempt to get into Parliament and a prime illustration of that saying, “if first you don’t succceed, try, try again”. Or another English adage: lose a penny, find a pound (sterling lah!)
But it’s most likely to be President Tony Tan who will open Parliament in a little over two months from now. He was deputy prime minister and had held other critical portfolios of education, defence and finance. Besides politics, he had also been a prominent banker, rising to the post of executive chairman of OCBC Bank.
Among the presidential candidates, he’s the only one who has had an eagle’s eye view of Singapore’s public and private sectors. And precedence is on his side as well. The late President Ong Teng Cheong had also been a deputy prime minister be4 he became president.