Current President Tony Tan celebrated and openly cheered the new proposal to change the existing constitution that is banning his major political rival Dr Tan Cheng Bock from contesting in the upcoming President Election. With the elimination of Dr Tan Cheng Bock, President Tony Tan can easily win his second contest with a majority.
Posted on Facebook barely a few hours after the announcement, President Tony Tan poured countless words of praises for the move banning Dr Tan Cheng Bock using “landmark”, “milestone”, “relevant”, “inclusive”, “commendable” and “comprehensive”:
“The Constitutional Commission recently concluded its review on the Elected Presidency (EP) scheme and submitted its report to the Government, which has made it publicly available today. It is a landmark review, drawing on 25 years of operating a very important institution that is unique to Singapore. I am confident that the upcoming Constitutional amendments will be a milestone for Singapore in ensuring that the EP scheme stays relevant with time and our local context.
The Commission had earlier sought my input as the incumbent Elected President to refine its proposals. Having been in office for five years now, I hope that my first-hand perspectives, of what worked and what might not, have been useful to the review.
It is commendable that the process undertaken by the Commission has been an inclusive one. Despite running on a tight timeline, the Commission sought the views of many Singaporeans. Many of the views were thoughtful and constructive. I am heartened that there have been more than a hundred submissions, and that the Commission has held a number of public hearings to debate on some of the issues. Not only was this process helpful in developing some of these ideas, but it was also a good educational opportunity about the EP and its critical role in Singapore.
The Commission’s work has been a comprehensive review of a very important topic. I will study the report and transmit my views on the specifics when the Parliament debates at the 2nd reading of the Constitutional amendments later this year.
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During the 2011 General Election, Tony Tan won Dr Tan Cheng Bock over only by a 0.35% margin. However, like recently-deceased former President SR Nathan, Tony Tan has been largely criticised as a figurehead and a puppet of dictator Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
In the past 5 years since he has been President, Tony Tan has never voiced out for any single issue or provide any insight to the national reserves. He currently draws a S$1.54 million salary – being the second most well-paid politician in the world.