One Tan in a bowl of four – can’t have them all, can’t have none.
By Fang Shihan
You don’t have to cast your vote at complete random, nor do you have to waste precious time and resources trawling through the Straits Times or Temasek Review to decide on who to hate the least.
Here’s a 5 min condensation of who’s who, who’s done what and who’s offended which section of the country.
You can thank us later.
Tony Tan (full CV: click here)
In short: The candidate with the most illustrious career, the longtime patron of brylcreem had previously served as 1) Deputy prime minister, 2) Chairman and CEO of Overseas-Chinese Banking Corporation (OCBC), 3) Chairman of state-controlled Singapore Press Holdings, 4) Executive director of Government Investment Corporation, which invests your CPF money. He’s currently on leave of absence from his role as Chairman of National Research Foundation, a department under the Prime Minister’s Office which funds research and development efforts and increasingly, startups.
Fans say: He’s had the most bling career of the lot and having worked inside and out of the government all his life, he’s more than capable to being head-of-state.
Haters say: He’s a PAP goondu without an opinion of his own. His son also enjoyed a 12-year disruption from National Service which incited loud boo-ing from a vocal group during his nomination day speech.
Tan Kin Lian (full CV: click here)
In short: The former NTUC Income chief shot to fame in 2008 when he led a protest against the government’s handling of Lehman-linked failed investments during the financial crisis. He now provides consultancy services to new and existing insurance companies operating outside Singapore. He promises to be an influential president and promises (among many other promises) more compensation for men who have served in the army.
Fans say: He knows the government well enough and can provide constructive criticism, particular with regards to financial steering.
Haters say: His premature presidential campaign in 2008 failed massively when he asked for 100,000 signatures but managed about 3,000. The president technically can’t do much, so he may not be able to deliver on all those wonderful things promised.
Tan Jee Say (full CV: click here)
In short: Also another formerly PAP-affiliated man, the investment advisor graduated from Oxford and served as Principal Private Secretary to then Deputy Prime Minister, Goh Chok Tong. His political career began early this year when he contested in the General Elections under the Singapore Democratic Party in Holland-Bukit Timah GRC, losing to the ruling party with slightly less than 40% of the votes. He’s since resigned from the party. He promises to take a humble $500,000/yr salary ($41,666/mth) if elected.
Fans say: He’s got an economic plan for Singapore, plus he’s endorsed by Nicole Seah.
Haters say: He’s an SDP quack and quit the Goh Chok Tong administration because he wasn’t competent enough and couldn’t get promoted.
Tan Cheng Bock (full CV: click here)
In short: The former kampung doctor who now owns a clinic in Jurong also served as the non-executive chairman of Chuan Hup holdings, a marine logistics company and was appointed Chairman of the government Feedback Unit in 1984. Like other PAP MPs, he’s held a range of non-major positions in various government and government-linked sectors but has surreptitiously avoided slamming by then anti-establishment fringe.
Fans say: He epitomizes the good doctor and is of sound moral standing.
Haters say: He has limited financial knowledge and is the least capable of the four to be President.
The editors chime in…
Shihan’s pick: Tan Cheng Bock. Because he’s the most harmless of the lot. I’m not a very big fan but least he can’t screw up the country.
Terence’s pick: Tan Cheng Bock. Because he can unite the PAP and the opposition. And Tan Kin Lian’s just weird.
Belmont’s pick: Tan Jee Say. Because we’re popping bottles in the ice, like a blizzard. And when we drink we do it right getting slizzard, right? And then we’ll be feeling so fly like a Jee Say. Like a Jee Say, like a Jee say…