President Tan calls for unity
He urged that we must now move forward together as one people and one nation. -myp
Fri, Sep 02, 2011
NEWLY sworn-in President Tony Tan appealed yesterday to Singaporeans of different political views to be united, and promised to be a unifying figure for the country.
"Whatever your political views, whatever your station in life, I will strive to the best of my abilities to represent you," he said.
The former deputy prime minister was addressing the 220-strong audience, which included Singapore's founding father, Mr Lee Kuan Yew, at his swearing-in ceremony.
Dr Tan, 71, was elected to the office with a 35.2 per cent mandate - just 0.34 percentage points ahead of election runner-up Tan Cheng Bock.
He took his oath with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Chief Justice Chan Sek Keong by his side. Prior to the ceremony, a farewell parade was held for former president S R Nathan.
In his first speech made as Singapore's seventh President - and the third elected to the office - he said that he is "humbled" and "honoured" by the presidency. Calling it the "most challenging appointment in (his) three decades of public service", he pledged to apply himself to his tasks "with all my ability, with all my energy, and with all my heart".
He also said that the office of the President is a symbol to embody all that is good in Singapore and its people.
He reassured Singaporeans that he would strive to strengthen the common bonds of the society "regardless of race, language, or religion".
He noted the recent calls for unity, including those made by other candidates, such as Dr Tan Cheng Bock.
"We must now move forward together as one people and one nation. This is vital for our stability and prosperity," he said.
And as Singaporeans did in 1965, President Tan said that Singaporeans "need to come together as one people to face challenges with confidence and build our future together".
His call for unity was echoed by PM Lee in his speech yesterday.
Mr Lee acknowledged that society is changing and politics here will evolve.
This change, said Mr Lee, is "natural and necessary" to respond to the changing social conditions and aspirations of the younger generation.
He said: "These social and political changes manifested themselves in the recent General and Presidential elections."
The debates during the Presidential Election were intense and "even divisive", he said.
"But now, both elections are over and voters have decided. We need to come together again and move forward," added Mr Lee.
He said that President Tan has an important contribution to make in promoting national unity.
"You are a symbol of our unity and nationhood," he said.
Even though this representation is sometimes described as "ceremonial", Mr Lee pointed out that they are "serious and important" ones, especially in times of uncertainty.
Speaking to reporters after the ceremony, Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen also stressed the need for unity in the country.
He said: "The purpose of the elections is to elect leaders to take us forward. Having done that, we must all be focused on moving ahead."
On the new President, he said: "I worked with him for many years. I am sure he will be - in his own words - a president we can all be proud of."
For once I agreed with Tony. Unity.
But how to achieve this?
To these PAP idiots and Elites, Unity is for you to scarify your pays and lifestyle so they can enjoy theirs.
Not once did I see the PAP nor Elites reach out to the people, they still refuse to step down from their ivory towers, not open to suggestion and critics .Damned! They are not even willing to take a pay cut for UNITY SAKES.
Look at the recent People Association Fiasco.
PA is behaving like a gangster who use tax payer money to act as a political tools for the PAP.
Finger to you man!
Best still openly admit it. Arrogant or stupid? Look like more votes down the drawn Hsien Loong.