Tony Tan will be unifying figure if elected: PM Lee
25 June 2011
SINGAPORE: Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said he has no doubt that former deputy prime minister Dr Tony Tan will be a unifying figure for all citizens and will bring honour and credit to Singa¬pore if he is elected as Singapore's next president.
Mr Lee said this on Saturday in response to questions from the media on how he sees Dr Tan as a candidate. Dr Tan had announced on Thursday that he would be running for president.
In response to a question on whether Dr Tan had informed him of his decision, Mr Lee replied that Dr Tan had informed him, as Chairman of the Government Investment Corporation (GIC), that he would be resigning from GIC to contest the Presidential Election as an independent candidate.
Mr Lee said Dr Tan did not need his permission, nor did he ask for it.
To a question on how he sees the upcoming Presidential Election, Mr Lee replied that the president is a key person in Singapore's system of government.
Mr Lee said that as Head of State, the president represents the country and all Singa¬poreans. He also has important constitutional functions, especially through his custodial powers over reserves and key appointments.
Mr Lee added that the president must carry himself with dignity and discharge his duties with judgement and integrity.
I think it is not right for the Prime Minister to openly back any Presidential candidate.
On paper the President of Singapore should be impartial and are not in favour of any political party.
But as you and me know, Tony has been a linked closely with PAP for many years and now we have the secretary general of PAP openly backing him therefore the independency of Tony are in doubt.
Of cause we hope he could be another Ong Teng Cheong who did a great job and was also a ex-PAP member and coincidental has been a DPM before.
On the good note, Tony can save the government the 56 man years for providing the figure Ex-president Ong failed to get.