Former Presidential candidate Dr Tan Cheng Bock yesterday (Mar 12) announced his interest in contesting the upcoming Presidential election which is due in Aug 2017, making him very likely the first Singapore President who is not appointed by the ruling party PAP.
In his last election bid, he won 738,311 votes or 34.85% of the votes – only 0.35% short of the PAP-appointed candidate winner Tony Tan in a 4-way contest. At his press conference, Tan Cheng Bock said:
Today’s Press Conference has been called in response to the concern of many Singaporeans.
At the last Presidential Elections of 2011, some 738,000 Singaporeans voted for me.
Many of my friends and supporters have asked if I intend to contest in the forthcoming Presidential Elections that is due by Aug.2017.
I owe them an answer.
The election is 17 months away. I feel it is now timely for me to state my decision.
I now declare that I intend, and will, contest the coming Presidential Elections in 2017
Dr Tan Cheng Bock.
I thank all Singaporeans who have faith in me.”
Since Independence, Singapore has always seen a puppet President who is controlled by the Prime Minister. The Singapore ruling party PAP government passed its own bills mandating that he President draw S$1.54 million a year, the second-highest salary a politician draw in the world, but below Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s S$2.2 million.
In anticipation to a non-PAP-appointed Presidential candidate winning the election, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has ordered to fix the candidate qualifying requirements. The outcome of the qualifying requirements is still pending of a committee appointed by Lee Hsien Loong, but there is a chance Dr Tan Cheng Bock may be disqualified from contesting.