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Tan Kin Lian is the new synonym for “hubris”

Posted on 28 August 2011

The reasons for Tan Kin Lian’s loss are plenty. But his loss is an endorsement of the democratic process of voting that validates the masses.

By Belmont Lay

tan kin lianAs far as I’m concerned, Tan Kin Lian’s failure to make a dent in this presidential election is no one’s fault but his.

There was never any organised campaign to discredit him. (He did that mostly by himself.)

There was no known group who stridently denounced him. No one forced him into a misstep.

He was guided along the way by volunteers, some of whom were seasoned General Election candidates.

And as far as the media was concern, they were more than accommodating when it came to reports about him.

He, therefore, had reasons to feel good.

On the morning of polling day, Tan Kin Lian said, “I believe this contest will be very close… There is a large group of people in the silent majority making a decision and I am quite confident that I will do well”.


After garnering 4.91 percent or 103,931 votes when the results were tallied, he turned tail, conceded and is $48,000 poorer.

Not to mention, he spent an additional $70,000 on the campaign trail. And that is other people’s money that he received as donations.

Tan Kin Lian is now asking, “I want to know what can be improved. I don’t know why (I lost) and I hope people will tell me. I want to hear their reason.”

I do know why he lost. Likewise for many others who won’t be holding back answers.

So here goes.

Nanyang Technological University associate professor Cherian George said his poor showing was expected: “Tan Kin Lian had some experience as an activist, but no experience as a politician, so it was hard for him to translate his beliefs into an effective campaign”.

George also said, “Tan Kin Lian was outflanked on the right by Tan Cheng Bock and on the left by Tan Jee Say”.

Singapore Management University law lecturer Eugene Tan said the four-cornered fight did Kin Lian in.

Eugene said, “In a crowded field, he became the forgotten candidate. Perhaps he suffered from a credibility problem right from the word go.

“His 2009 effort to secure 100,000 signatures before he would run for presidency did not succeed. His decision to run in 2011 was greeted with some amount of doubt and incredulity.

“While he’s seen as someone who spoke up for investors who were misled, the good Samaritan or David vs Goliath approach did not necessarily translate to wider perceptions of suitability for the President’s office”.

NUS political analyst Reuben Wong attributed Kin Lian’s staying on the sidelines in the General Election in May as a mistake.

There is no natural constituency for him as a result.

And not to mention, Kin Lian is prone to sabotaging himself.

Kin Lian got chased out of shopping centres for doing walkabouts. (What were his volunteers thinking?)

He even handed out fliers during the memorial ceremony of Internal Security Act detainee Tan Jing Quee.

If you even know the people who would attend the memorial ceremony of an ex-political detainee, this act of campaigning during such a sanctimonious session is the equivalent of lap-dancing during Mass.

And then there were the revelations about his job at NTUC Income: His 30-year career came under scrutiny.

Policyholders and ex-colleagues pointed out his bad investments, which he shrugged off as business decisions.

His sudden departure in 2007 was revealed to be due to differences with him and the board, which later said they wanted the insurance cooperative to be more professionally run. (Ahem…)

Kin Lian has been described by his detractors as a senior insurance salesman.

And when you think what can be so difficult about being professional, you get hit in the face by Kin Lian’s populist proposals.

He pledged to donate half of his president’s salary to charity, give more to national servicemen and pay pensions to the elderly.

Eugene Tan said, “These were not really within the ambit of the elected presidency’s office as delineated in the Constitution. But the proposals thrown up made him look opportunistic and that only took more wind out of his sail at the closing stages of the campaign”

So are we done pointing out his faults?

No, no, we just started.

Next, his campaign logo sucks.

Okay, the 5% was not added by us, or him.

Is it ominous or what? It shows a drowning man’s hand. Shouting for help.

Besides not being able to craft a sleeker logo, Kin Lian neither possesses a statesman demeanour, nor does he speak fluently. (Reminds one of Lim Swee Say actually, of “better, betterer, betterest” fame.)

Chen Show Mao has a statesman demeanour. Reluctantly, His Leeness also has a statesman demeanour.

Even with his disco ball head, Tharman Shanmugaratnam has a statesman stature.

And most importantly, head-of-states don’t do high-fives. Only evil clowns out to get children do.

His flip-flopping over whether to contest in this election and the conditional terms he set out for his contest to be president are not indicators of someone who appears as very confident about his own chances.

And then there was the talk that he considered pulling out.

Hey, seriously, if you go in blind, you come out blind.

So how is Tan Kin Lian’s loss a validation of democratic voting?

For one, the collective crowd can be a good judge of value.

When not queuing up in masses overnight for Hello Kitty plush toys thinking they are worth it, the collective intelligence and judgement call of very large groups of people can be pretty good at picking up on cues as to what’s good for them and what’s not.

Which leaves me with my point of today’s missive: The Hello Kitty crowd that bothers to queue overnight for plush toys? I believe they make up that deluded five percent that actually voted for Kin Lian.

This post was written by:

- who has written 230 posts on New Nation.

Contact the author

  • cy

    Ma Ying Jeou,taiwan president recently did Hi-5 with his supporters, so that disproves the theory that head of states don”t do high-5

  • DBH

    “Disco ball head”? That’s such a nasty way of describing someone, Belmont. How would you like it if someone called YOU that?

    • Belmont

      I’ll be honoured that someone even took notice.

    • Shihan

      I used to disco. What’s your problem?

    • Native Singaporean

      Sinkie, DBH is one himself. To agree with Belmont on such insults, it is reflecting on himself! No wisdom!

  • Sinkie

    haha DBH, lighten up leh. this article is meant to be light-hearted.

  • Terence Lee

    btw, cy, what works in Taiwan may not work in S’pore. different peoples may have a different perception of what a Presidential image is.

  • Michael

    I was reading the analysis and agreeing with you but then to bitch-slap the Hello Kitty crowd and then to allude that they were the ones who voted for Kin Lian just tears your whole article apart.

    • Belmont

      Hehe. You queued up for a Hello Kitty plush toy, didn’t you?

      • Native Singaporean

        Shameless! still so childish!

    • Angela

      I share the views of Micheal and I have just read at least 3 of your articles after stumbling on the link on my friend’s FB news-feed.

      I really like the way you write and this article was listed out pretty much what I felt about Tan Kin Lian as well, until I got to your final part about Hello Kitty crowd voting for TKL.

      I admit that I did queue up for the Hello Kitty soft toy 10 years ago. Time has passed and I have grown up and No, I did not vote for Tan Kin Lian.

      • Saiweng1966

        I don’t understand. What’s wrong with queuing for hello kitty toys? Why do we need to be apologetic about that? Is it qualitatively very different from desiring all kinds of other things? Like a job, an apartment, a car, or fame? Why do we have to denigrate those among us who take delight in tiny pleasures? Why should we pour scorn on these harmless little toys, or the pursuit of them? I have always found interesting why many people have this intense, almost rabied instinct of needing to distance themselves from anything hello kitty.

  • Han

    I think you’re using “sanctimonious” wrong here…

    • Belmont

      How you use a word changes over time. So next time an overconfident person fails, you shout “You’ve been Tan Kin Lianed!”

      • Native Singaporean

        Belmont, you are rotten to the core! Shame on you!

        • smiley

          and then i start to suspect if someone is just using his name to stir up more trouble in the comments :) but @native: perhaps you should start by changing your tone too? might help a little bit more. ranting out at others using such words isnt what i call “considerate”

          • Native Singaporean

            Smiley: You realised he is not apologetic? I need to use strong comments to drive some sense to this young lad. Nicole has to apologise on his behalf. Isn’t that shameful? Our society has changed. With youngerster becoming so opportunistic and criticising someone who has stood up for Singaporeans, what kind of people are we breeding in Singapore? Where is respect? I am teaching the way I would teach my son. He needs to learn the basic respects, gratitude and compassion.

          • Smiley

            True:) hopefully his next article(if any) would be much more humble and modest. But a leopard doesn’t change his spots. Then again, harsh words doesn’t always work.

      • Jj4jjc

        How you use a word changes over time. So next time an overconfident person fails, you shout “You’been Belmonted!”

  • B.Laid

    This is such a puerile piece of writing that I’m wondering whether some adolescents should not have internet access.

  • Shanice Foh

    I’m not TKL’s supporter,But I think he deserves appreciation and respect… Some of the things you wrote is downright nasty.

  • Arsernic

    Wow Belmont, with such emotive language, biased viewpoints and unwarranted insults against Tan Kin Lian and the other ministers, it is a damning indictment of your failing attempts at academic writing and analysis.

    • Terence

      hahaha academic???? was this ever an attempt at such??

      • Arsernic

        none at all, precisely my point terrence.

        • Terence Lee

          so if this was not even an attempt at such, so how is this a “damning indictment of your failing attempts at academic writing and analysis?”

        • Terence Lee

          so if this was not even an attempt at such, so how is this a “damning indictment of your failing attempts at academic writing and analysis?”

          • Arsernic

            no observable attempt does not mean no attempt terrence.

            And you are missing the point here in my comment: any educated individual, assuming so, who attempts to write should be objective in his writing, especially when it concerns national issues, not blatant one-sided defilement of respectable individuals.

            so refocus your criticism terrence.

          • Shihan

            We wouldn’t dare to be more objective and intelligent than you sir. By the way, it’s “a” blatant one-sided defilement.

          • Arsernic

            ooh you know how to use sarcasm.

          • Terence Lee

            as far as i’m concerned, i agree more or less with the writer’s views, he’s speaking the brutal truth. the presidency is way beyond TKL’s depth. so maybe the writer’s acerbic and irreverent style is not exactly to your liking — whatever floats your boat man.

  • Hardertruths

    up to this point in time, i haven’t a clue as to why he took part. Was it really pride that he chose not to withdraw after all 4 candidates were given COE?

    • Lucksa

      I heard from one of his supporter, he was prepared to withdrawn from the election after TJS got his COE by calling TJS and TCB to come for a closedoor meeting, but non of the TJS and TCB want to meet fearing that he ask them to withdrawn, so in order not to disappoint his supported, he press on….. if the meeting does goes on, he have got a reason to answer to his supporter not to go for the election.

  • Steffi

    Someone please tell TKL not to go around looking for answers to his poor showing in the PE2011, dun waste anymore time finding reasons he dislikes to hear. He can find most of them here….. ‘most’ because the list is not exhaustive….yet.

  • wakeupcall

    All these insults and condemnations of Tan Kin Lian is unwarranted– the desire to run and his eligibility is not to be decided by a bunch of rag-tag online commentators, but rather by himself and the Elections Department.

    If he cannot articulate himself well, if he doesn’t have a good elections icon (insulting this merely reveals your superficiality), if he cannot conduct his campaign well, at least he has the heart to do so– there’s a genuine attempt to do so.

    Do you guys? So wake up.

    • Terence Lee

      i admire your stout defense of TKL, but i really think the logo is awful. praise his heart, but good intentions is never enough in public life. and as superficial as you think it is, image and branding DOES matter. when i saw the video of him peddling a torchlight and doing that silly optical illusion, I puked, as did many other S’poreans. his later comments and outrageous suggestions further did him in.

  • Arsernic


  • Anon
  • Shanti

    I think Belmont Lay deserve a tight slap from Ivy Singh Lim

    • Native Singaporean

      He deserve all slaps from the 103k supporters too!

  • Anonymous

    Belmont, i mean you no harm. But maybe you should reflect before writing something like this..Tan Kin Lian spoke at ur gf’s party rally. Does he deserve an article of the tone of your writing?

    Do you think writings like yours is going to do good to your girlfriend’s campaign and image? To put things into perspective, I will attach some of the comments made in reference to your article. Yes your writing made it to sammyboy forums

    You can follow the link:

    From Sammyboy forums

    Fully agree. As far as I am concerned this guy is a dead duck. Can you imagine if his girlfriend get into parliament, the abuse of office that will follow.

    Have to disagree Bro.

    This article is full of venom. All the facts are right but the delivery is atrocious and cruel. If she found a mate in person like, I have issues with her judgement. The fact that TKL spoke at NSP rallies and in support of the candidates surely must count for something.

    Like I said, let see this prick write a scathing article about PAP. And there are many targets in the PAP – poor MPs, MPs with string of directorships, poor performing ministers. I can bet you my bottom dollar, a person of this character will not write such scathing articles about PAP. And it will not be the fear factor but to prevent the closing of doors and future opportunities.

    Narong Wongman:
    This fellow goes on as if TKL **** his mother like that…
    Knn elections over already la no need to attack until like this, getting so personal and even looking down on those voters who voted for TKL.
    Knn my admiration and respect for NS drop already.
    This **** want to act hero then like bro said write a similar piece on PAP….or he stand for elections himself I think cannot garner close to 100k votes.

  • Tanspartacus

    If Belmont Lay is truly Nicole Seah’s boyfriend; Nicole should seriously reconsider her choice as he will sully her political image.

    • Mani the parakeet

      If he is her bf, WTF is she thinking???

      I used to post in online forums during the GE that Nicole is the closest thing we have to a young Evita Peron.

      Now we know she has a clueless, clumsy and cruel dork as a bf?

      Open your eyes Nicole sweetie – you can do much better!!!

      • -_-

        dont insult others if you do not wish for them to do the same. do it and it makes you the same as them :)

  • Man

    Belmont’s (what kind of name is that) article can only make it to sammyboy… Pathetic! Don’t write articles that kick a person when he is down, doesn’t make you the hero! (or does it?).

  • Saiweng1966

    You insult an entire group of supporters, apart from a man who stood up for minibond investors, and who gave voters an alternative voice. I will like to ask what u have done in yr life so far that is even remotely of note. You go on about superficial inadequacies like his logo, looks and his English. You r full of conceit n I think you owe this group of singaporeans an apology.

  • Belmont

    The irreverence of opinion are mine, although I am hardpressed to admit that these are the most original points to be making.

    The way this editorial was written is the same as how many of my other editorials were written: It was assembled after talking at length with many, and some times very random people on the street.

    It is meant to capture both the facts and the immediate mood and energy of the conversations I had, especially in the morning the results were announced. If you were at the recent Cooling Off Day play that dramatised Alfian Saat’s interviews post-GE, you’ll know what I mean.

    • Native Singaporean

      You and your other editorials show no respect for someone who stood up for Sinagporeans! What have you folks did to serve Singapore? Other than writing personal attacks? Shame on all of you! Even Nicole apologised. This is what I called maturity! She apologised on behalf of your childish acts! Learn from her KIDS !

    • Native Singaporean

      You and your other editorials show no respect for someone who stood up for Sinagporeans! What have you kids did to serve Singapore? Other than writing personal attacks? Shame on all of you! Even Nicole apologised. This is what I called maturity! She apologised on behalf of your childish acts! Learn from her, KIDS !

    • Yoshi

      There is a clear difference between stating facts and making cocky remarks, and yours read more like kicking someone in the teeth when he’s down (moreover, for the fun of it too) than a factual analysis. And considering that this man spoke at your girlfriend’s rally, you should at least show him some respect, even if you strongly disagree with the way he ran his campaign.

      I didn’t vote of TKL; I also thought the logo was clipart material; but at least I didn’t have to sound smug about my opinions.

      “And most importantly, head-of-states don’t do high-fives. Only evil clowns out to get children do.”

      Rubbish. Obama does a lot of high-fives:

      And he’s not the only head-of-state to do that.

      The synonym of hubris? That’s people who write this sort of drivel and try to pass it off as political analysis.

  • Anon

    103,931 voters – That is what the writer is offending. It seems that this site is a set-up by a group of students in jounalism, so is the writer part of the group? Are they tutored?

    It is a disgrace that our youngsters are not politically matured and yet show “aggression” quite typical as being pro-PAP elites. It would be sad that our country condone habits of such “aggressors”.

    • Native Singaporean

      I agree with you. Belmont is a disgrace to Singaporeans. He show no respect and childish to the core. Shame on him to be a Singaporean! Share we start a hate site for him? :p

      • -_-

        i wouldnt agree that what he is doing is right. in fact, there are many ways to point out the flaws of others. as most people have flaws. but what you are doing here, suggesting to make a “hate site” and insulting others by calling names just make you the same as him. as you said, “childish”. dont stoop to that level.

        • Native Singaporean

          Pls la don’t be so childish! Can’t you see tat little icon at the end of the sentence! It is just for fun making that statement. Am I like him? Are you see accomplice? Or you are Belmont yourself? Trying to defend now? Do you know how hurtful your insulting article was? What name did I call u? Is childish a name? Is shameless a name? You shld b thankful no one use any animals to describe u! Reflect on all the words you use on TKL and TKL supporters. The reason I called you childish and shameless because you did not realised your mistake after so many people pointed out your flaws. You are not even apologetic. If nothing drives into your head, I need to use stronger words right? Don’t you coming judging me when you are the one 103k waiting for an apology!

          • -_-

            Well sorry to disappoint you cuz I’m not a “he”. It was just a nice reminder not to let ur tone turn nasty. As I have mentioned above, I disagree to his use of such bias and insensitive tone but I don’t think throwing insults back is gonna do any good. Up to you if you think I’m childish but that’s just my view.

    • Native Singaporean

      Anon, I agree with you. This bunch of kids ought to learn more respect and responsibility when writing an article. They don’t deserve a credit in the subject of jounalism. Perhaps only The Newpaper will accept their writing. So low class and brainless! This bunch of kids better watch for their karma. What goes around comes around!

  • Anon

    103,931 voters – That is what the writer had insulted. This site is said to be set-up by a group of journalism students. Does the writer belonged to this group? Are they tutored?

    It is sad that our youngsters who are not politically matured are so aggressive. It would be sad that our country to condone the habits of such aggressors.

  • Belmont

    The irreverence of opinion are mine, although I am hardpressed to admit that these are the most original points to be making.

    The way this editorial was written is the same as how many of my other editorials were written: It was assembled after talking at length with many, and some times very random people on the street.

    It is meant to capture both the facts and the immediate mood and energy of the conversations I had, especially in the morning the results were announced. If you were at the recent Cooling Off Day play that dramatised Alfian Saat’s interviews post-GE, you’ll know what I mean.

    • Anonymous

      Hi Belmont, your point is taken, but 5% of voters who voted for TKL can make a difference. Let’s see if your indiscretion today will cause Nicole Seah in future. A politician needs every vote out there. BTW, there is a difference between Alfian’s works and yours. The former is a literary icon. It is hard to build bridges but very easy to burn a few.

      • Belmont

        One thing I have to emphasise is that if you look at the archives of our editorial, we try to capture the essence of fast-flowing debate, perspectives plus the mood of what is happening in as little words as possible.

        And if you have been following us for 8 months, we are, ahem, very liberal.

        For example, it is one thing to say “incredulous” and another thing altogether to express and feel incredulity. And have it in writing.

        And as some here mentioned, the writing ought not to be taken as stuffy, academic writing. If you read those academic type things, especially in the library, you will miss completely the clash-bang of the 1960s elections in Singapore, because authors always aim for cool, long prose.

        Why should we follow that lead or idea if the Internet offers us such access as immediacy?

        Lastly, Nicole cannot be responsible for the outcome of this Presidential Election in the first place. In fact, no one in any political party can be held accountable. If you followed the happenings in real time, every new development is unforeseen. We simply cannot look back and say how things should have been done differently.

        • Native Singaporean

          And now Nicole has to take responsibility of your childish actions for blurting immature stuff? Grow up please!

        • Anonymous

          Belmont, not too sure if you really got what I was driving at. While your explaining of your position clarifies your position, if you are in the business of publishing be it online or in print, what matters is that your audiences make out of your work.

          What I was really driving is how people perceive your work, and on the overall how they view Nicole Seah. I am just pointing out to you, yes, you may for whatever ostensible intentions pen certain pieces, but the ones watching are now formulating their opinions.

          It is not beyond me to say, based on the comments in this thread and elsewhere that your writings have ‘altered’ certain viewpoints of your girlfriend, and maybe cause her some future votes.

          Yes, your elaboration of your position makes things clearer but ultimately you have to realise that whatever is written and passes out to the public domain will form part of other’s impression.

          Ever wondered why the more successful businesses saw more to their customers’ needs rather than insisting on their own vision?

          It is really up to you on how you want to write, but no matter what your stand is, the final impression lies with your readers, and how they view your girlfriend, and more importantly, how they ultimately vote.

          Yes, we have the freedom to do things, but we have to be mindful of the consequences of actions too. I wasn’t referring to what Nicole did or said during the rallies, I was referring to the impact of your current writing on her.

        • Alex Tan Zhixiang

          “We simply cannot look back and say how things should have been done differently.”

          bullshit. you connect the dots looking behind and not looking forward.

          just trolling.

    • Saiweng1966

      You say you spoke to many, random people. But judging from this thread alone you obviously you missed out on a huge chunk of reaction – there is substantial respect out there for this man whom you belittle and dismiss so lightly. Any journalistic piece of writing, including editorials, calls for balance and fairness, that is basic. If you want to go a step higher, then it calls for compassion, feeling and responsibility. If all you want is ramble, please post your stuff on your personal blog. But if u purport to write as a journalist, you need to pull up your socks, because industry standards are way, way higher. It is very easy to write but when u are writing for an audience, AS A JOURNO, please remember that this role comes with a serious responsibility.

      You may never come to experience this, because I don’t think you are a real journo. But our words have impact, and they come with consequences. People can lose their jobs, they can get hurt, their families can get embarrassed. Before you push anything out, give it a few hours and read through it again. Is it fair? Is it right? Is it ethical? It may mean nothing to you, but is it worthwhile to cause hurt to another human being for some vainglorious agenda of your own?

  • Nicole Seah

    Dear Readers,

    I apologize to many of you, especially TKL supporters who have been dismayed and hurt by the insensitive tone and timing of this article. In a time where the electorate is fractured and nursing the wounds of the close margins if the electoral results and emotions are running high, Singaporeans should indeed be focused on regrouping and reuniting instead of throwing stones at one another.

    I would like to categorically state that this article and the opinions expressed are not my own, and I had no knowledge that this was going to be published, or I would have done my best to speak to the author of the article to refrain from publishing it. I am aware of the distress that this article may have caused to some and I am sorry that this should have happened.

    I would also like to dismiss claims that this article has been published in cooperation with me so as to take the heat off my recent support for Mr Tan Jee Say. While I supported Mr Tan in my personal capacity, I would also like to reiterate that I did so as his views were closest aligned with mine, compared to the other candidates.I reiterate that I had no knowledge of this article and no association with the author in the creation of this article.

    Thank you for your kind understanding.

    • Native Singaporean

      Belmont owes us an apology, not you. I suggest you dump him. He will continue to tarnish your image with this kind of low taste, disrespectful and irresponsible article. Not a wise man. Absolutely immature and childish to the core!

  • YWNA

    ” Which leaves me with my point of today’s missive: The Hello Kitty crowd that bothers to queue overnight for plush toys? I believe they make up that deluded five percent that actually voted for Kin Lian. ”

    – Bookmarked for GE 2016. I guess the person one fraternises with is an indication of one;s personality and character as well.

    I would also like to add that I know of a few folks who voted for TKL out of sympathy, something that Mr Belmont apparently lacks.

  • Native Singaporean

    Is there anything wrong finding out and reflecting on his mistakes? Why are you people so mean? I feel he is very courageous. He faced his lost with stride and wanted to learn from mistake. You appear to me that you are someone who will not examine what is wrong when you lose. Not a wise person. If everyone has a arrogant attitude like you who don’t face the mistakes then you will find failure always follow you.

    • smiling

      dont judge people so easily. everyone make mistakes. you too

      • Native Singaporean

        Yes, I make mistake like everyone too. TKL made mistake and he is examining his mistakes. Is there anything wrong? Does he deserve all this criticisms by Belmont? Belmont is making a grave mistake here and he is not even apologetic. Nicole has to apologise on his behalf. I judge? Who is judging here? Instead of ‘teaching’ this young lad, you came criticising on others who are trying to wake this young lad up. Pls reflect on yourself.

        • -_-

          Maybe u missed one of my comment which I suggested adding some humor. But I’m not perfect, so I don’t shout names or insult others because I believe I don’t have the right to do so. But maybe my view is just different from you? Anyways, have a nice day.

  • Rookieraw

    Well summarised. I am really surprised how TLK had become NTUC CEO. Was his era different from yesterday’s and today’s? It seems like the criteria are pretty tough to meet to head a “gahmen” organisation.

  • Rookieraw

    Belmont’s article serves as a timely reminder that people are born with different talents. Some are born statesmen. Some aint. But some are born with ambitions that exceed their calibre. Whilst the islanders here prefer to go about their life in their own quiet fashion, not wanting to mind other’s business, they do sit up when their pockets get hit big time. They want to find a Spokesperson who has the right qualities and has their interest at heart too. Not someone who think it is a stroll in the park to woo over Islanders who graduate from the so called “World Class Education System” (that is what Islanders have been told time and time again by the “Powers”.

  • Conflict of Interest

    Dear Belmont, would you like to deny all those accusations flying around that you’re singling out TKL instead of TJS despite the latter won 4 times as many votes which could have gone to TCB, simply because as Nicole Seah’s boyfriend you can’t bring yourself to criticise who she so ardently supported?

  • Et2cetera

    I didn’t vote for TKL and unfortunately, over the course of his campaign it became more gimmicky. However, this article would have been a much better read if the author had left out the issue of the high-five, and the association of the Hello Kitty and TKL’s supporters. Doing so made me wonder whether he intended to make it a serious analysis or a flippant vent.

    If it was meant to be flippant, perhaps the author should put a disclaimer at the end like [NOTICE: This is a satire and not meant to be taken literally]. Might do wonders with the crowd.

  • Observer

    @”There was never any organised campaign to discredit him. (He did that mostly by himself.)”. Author’s own comments!

    Why did the writer organised this article to discredit him further then? And he did it by himself or is it the whole group of would be “trainee” journalists? And post PE?

    Which journalists’ school he belong to? “Aggressors” or not? And dare not apologise himself !

  • dk

    is newnation supposed to be a serious site for “citizen journalism”?

    • Observer

      i doubt … only students maybe! but “aggressors” to look out for.

      • Fearof

        So freedom of expression is only extended to the expression that you agree with now?

        Oh wait, this is Singapore.

        • Observer

          Should’nt journalism be ethical? It is not wise to hide under veil of “freedom of expression”. People all can see through.

          • Fearof

            To be honest, at the end of the day, this is merely an article reflecting a person’s opinion on why a presidential candidate lost.

            True, the tone could have been rephrased better. The Hello Kitty part at the end was probably redundant-ish. But ultimately, there wasn’t anything there that others have not said. You may have voted for a person, but you cannot deny flaws in his/her campaign that’s there – much more if a person lost.

            Freedom of expression essentially means that everyone has the right to express his/her opinion with reference to an issue. You may not like it, sure. But no one is forcing you to memorize the article for an examination. Just don’t read it. Of course, if he was trying to incite violence, that’s a whole new ballgame. But he isn’t.

            I like New Nation because their articles are refreshing and they have a sense of humour. If I don’t like an article, I close the browser window. No one forces me to read it, and it’s the same for you.

            I’m not defending the author (I don’t even know the guy), but I really think that we need to get over ourselves.

            And now, I wait for the inevitable flames.

          • Fearof

            “the tone could have been better”, rather.

          • smiley

            agree. people often forget that they are doing the same thing in the same tone when they start insulting the author or people who have a “slightly” different opinion from them. must learn to change ourselves before hoping to change others.

          • Observer

            Don’t forget, this Blog is not as if it is Straits Times … if it is just a bunch of young trainee journalists and that is what it is made of, it better come clean and decent. If not, better go back to be tutored.

  • Rookieraw

    If I were in Marine Parade GRC I would vote for Nicole Seah. She speaks maturely and is willing to engage on key issues. However, I regret to say that she backed the wrong person – TJS. Before PE on 27 Aug 2011 I didn’t go on line to listen to each candidate’s rally. I regretted not doing so. Initially, I wanted to vote for TCB but was asked by a friend to vote for TJS. The friend’s view is that TJS would be more ready to question the government. After 27 Aug 2011 I went on line and watched all the rallies on You Tube I realised that TCB is the person with the most credible record and in his own words would ask the right questions on use of reserves and appointment of key civil service positions. His rally speech has real substance. He’s good. It is very regretful that I chose TJS not TCB. The lesson I learn is not to back someone simply because he seems more aligned to the opposition’s cause.

  • Elizabeth

    Bah. Regardless of what he wrote, so what? Just because they are a couple does not mean they must share the same political ideas, the same opinions or the same attitude. Couples must all like to eat the same things and dress the same way, meh?

  • Anonymous Coward

    If you’re voting out of “sympathy”, might I suggest that your voting rights be revoked? Who the hell in their right mind votes for candidates based on “sympathy”. That in itself is a sorry excuse for supporting TKL.

    Also, to those of you criticizing Belmont just because he’s dating Nicole Seah, you need to see past their relationship. Just because 2 people are dating does not mean they have to support the same political parties or the same ideologies.

    If the perception from the above is your issue, perhaps you need to work on your perception rather than the 2 folks working on ways to appease the masses.

    • jj4jjc

      everyone should stop trying to claim that this article has nothing to do with Nicole
      unless the 2 of them think that everyone are as dumb as the 2 of them???

      in politics, perception is reality… if they cant handle it, either one stop writing or the other step out of public life. You can just go back to 2006 when Chia Ti Lik and Goh Meng Seng quit WP because they cant stop shooting their mouth off.

      Well, the reality is the masses are not going to work on their perception because the masses arent the one asking for a mandate to represent Nicole Seah.
      Of course, there is no need for them to appease the masses because the masses can choose to give their mandate to PAP or WP instead of Nicole.

      no offence, when pple see “Belmont Lay”, it is synonym for “Nicole Seah’s boyfriend”
      Belmont Lay has no achievement or anything noteworthy to his own name except being “Nicole Seah’s boyfriend”, well you can add the infamy of this article to his name now.

      a simple google search on who is “Belmont Lay” show the following info from a popular local forum: wkwsci reject, sph reject, ice cream instructor, so how can you expect us to divorce the malicious content of this article from his famous girlfriend when he is a nobody and Nicole has been campaigning so heavily for 1 of the candidate?

      this is almost as dumb as the “speaking in personal capacity” that these NSP folks have been trying to pull on us, when people see Nicole Seah and Jeanette Chong who do they see? NSP candidates. How can you expect people to swallow that fact that when you supporting him because his “views were closest aligned with” your. Isnt joining political parties all about similar poltical views? NSP members’ suppoort of various candidate have reflect very badly on all of you, you can said the electorate are not mature but welcome to reality.

      This sound as inane as saying you are attending events as Advisor to GROs and not as PAP MPs. No, you cant have your cake and eat it.

      To Nicole: You could have been the bright spark of the opposition for the next 20 year and many have cut you a lot of slack because of your youth. We may attribute your support of Jee Say to naivety but we will not forgive or forget your involvement or non-involvement in this poison letter. You have shown grave misjudgements.
      Oh BTW the forums has been buzzing that you been deleting criticism on your facebook wall. If you cant take the heat, please get out of the kitchen

      To Belmont: if you goal is 5 minutes of fame, good job! you have just totally screw the 15k MP allowance she could have brought to the Lay household.
      Oh and dun give us that crap about the nature of this editorial as an excuse. The only reason people bother to pay attention to this sorry excuse of a character assassination is due to Nicole Seah and not due to the zany style of editorial.

      You and Alex Au can continue to mock and critque the boring, ultra moderate, fence sitting nonpersonailty of Tan Cheng Bock, but the majority electorate are exactly that, boring, ultra moderate, fence sitting without a personailty and they will not appreciate your loose cannon approach which is now tag to Nicole as well.

      • Anonymous Coward

        This is one ridiculous comment to make and reflects whatever is wrong with the voting population these days and why the center moderate *STILL* refuses to vote the opposition in.

        Sure, the opposition voices are growing stronger but it’s being pushed back by people like you.

        Seeing Belmont Lay as a synonym for “Nicole Seah’s bf”. Yeah right. It’s you same bunch that see “PAP = evil” when not everyone within the PAP is the devil and what was with that 15k a month comment? You think everyone is in it for the money?

        Also, do share with me what the problem is with selling ice cream as a career since that was one of the points you brought up about Belmont or being a SPH reject, since SPH isn’t exactly the pinnacle or cornerstone of objective reporting and journalism.

        Don’t you think you’re painting with extremely broad strokes here? I do.

        tl;dr: fail troll is fail.

        • Jj4jjc

          I totally do not understand your tirade against the electorate. This sound like blaming the customers when you business go bust.

          15k a month comment is just to reflect their household will not be getting it, that is all.

          There is no problem with TEACHING ice cream making or being a SPH reject. It is just to highlight that he is a nobody other than being a synonym for “Nicole Seah’s boyfriend”. If he can dish it out but can’t take it, then please stop writing.

          Since SPH isn’t exactly the pinnacle or cornerstone of objective reporting and journalism, and Belmont was rejected by them, it speak volumns of his talent then, as showcase clearly here.

          • AnonymousCoward

            Any proof that Belmont was rejected by SPH?

          • Jj4jjc

            But the 25-year-old was never considered to be good enough by the industry. Scoring only straight ‘Bs” in his ‘A’ Levels, his application to Nanyang Technological University’s Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information – the only university with a journalism division – was rejected.

            Yet even with his experience of starting and working for a student newspaper, Lay was unable to secure an internship at Singapore’s biggest English newspaper, The Straits Times (ST), when he applied last year.


  • Anon

    The important issue is the “hubris” lies within the writer himself. Who cares whom he knows, etc.?

  • smiley

    an improvement you can make: remove the insulting tone and add some humour. might do you and the crowd some good. who wouldnt want some light-hearted humour to end a day’s hard work?

  • Grpoc

    I don’t even know what the point of this article is for, feels to have no value except to beat down someone who has lost and his supporters.

  • Shawncoldp

    i think the Internet Bridage is gatecrashing here because TRE is down. beware all these trolls. they are hired to cause opposition to disunite.

  • Pingback: Tan Kin Lian is the new synonym for “hubris” | A tribute to Tan Kin Lian

  • Native Singaporean

    Belmont, after reading so many comments on your article, I think it is time you come forward and face the music. You may be young but that doesn’t give you the excuse to be immature, disrespectful, arrogant and unkind. Take up the courage and responsibility now and admit your mistake. There is nothing wrong to admit our mistakes. We all learned through mistakes. Do not allow your ego run your life. Be humble and respectful and that will bring you very far. I will set an example here to apologise to u for calling you childish and shameless. I challenge you to come forward to apologise for writing and publising such an article and also to TKL and his supporters whom you have hurt. Nicole has apologised and she shouldn’t be doing this for you. Come on, be a man! If you don’t come forward you are telling me you are as good as childish and shameless. So please prove me wrong. 103k people are waiting. TQ.

    • herpderp

      In turn, I challenge you to show us 103k annoyed voters.

      • Anon

        103K of those who voted for TKL are still waiting.

        • AnonymousCoward

          Big words for something you cannot substantiate.

          • Anon

            “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?”

          • Jj4jjc

            103k annoyed voters will show uop in 2016, mark my words … nicole is finished…

      • Native Singaporean

        You are just as disrespectful. You must b one of Belmont’s supporter. Grow up please!

        • herpderp

          and you need to work on your language.

  • Pamela

    I felt that a journalist ought to write what they think in their capacity or we would all be dull human beings. Frankly, I agree with Belmont though I admire TKL’s courage to run for presidency. Being the voice of the people also mean that he needs to be able to take criticism; the ears of the people as well. :)

    • Observer

      So, can we say the writer is a hubris himself? And you agree too?

      • Pamela

        let’s talk about the fact that TKL garnered only 4.91% of votes. i believe that he needs to understand why he did not win the amount of votes he intended to. to even bother to say something about the episode meant that people actually care. i’m sure there are people out there who share similar thoughts with Belmont but did not articulate. yes, we all agree that TKL put up a good fight and we admired him for that but there are apparent reasons why he lost. Everyone is entitled to have their personal opinions.

        • Observer

          OK, so can we supporters of TKL then say Belmont Lay is indeed a “hubris” himself but yet criticise others of being a hubris with his journalist skills, and you agree with our opinion and that it is perfectly OK to say it anywhere in the blogosphere, and not just only in this blog? Can we quote you? And do you seek to represent him? If not, we will call you a liar and we can say it anywhere else in the blogosphere too?

          • Pamela

            I do not represent anybody; though I agree with the content of the article to an extent. The intention of the article were for easy-reading and also stating the apparent reasons why TKL did not win the PE. It is rather unconstructive for you to publicise me as a liar and acting very defensively. This is pointless. I suggest that for you as a supporter of TKL to compliment him on what he has done well and share opinions with him on what he is lacking in his running for presidency. Hope you understand what I am driving at. I’m sure TKL will be proud to have a supporter like you but do understand that the world is made up of people who thinks differently.

          • Observer

            If you are proud of Belmont Lay’s article, for your info; TKL has a FB page and email address; ask Belmont Lay to write personally to TKL, especially after his loss. Ask Belmont Lay don’t trumpet here in his blog in the open calling TKL a ‘hubris” when Belmont Lay himself is a “hubris”. If Belmont Lay is no “hubris”, don’t blow it big in his blog here. If not, don’t teach TKL what is a “hubris”. Tell Belmont Lay to go back to his school and be tutored. This is my opinion. Can I repeat it anywhere that Belmont Lay is a “hubris” teaching others not to be a “hubris”?

          • Shihan

            Write us a funny 600 word article about why Belmont is hubris and we’ll publish. Promise.

          • Smart Alex

            Not in your damned site and a bunch of hubris.

  • Nanashee

    Then, there is his face. The picture he chose for his campaign, looking like the sort of flyers you get shoved in your letter box or gate asking you to sell your house. I suppose the statesman demeanour thing covers that.

  • Pingback: Tan Kin Lian ‘gave courage to other candidates’ | The Online Citizen

  • Another Concerned Citizen

    To all those people who are making a lot of noise here: You all need to grow up. This is just a difference of opinion. So must everyone who writes on the internet cater to your likes only?

    • Observer

      There is no need to cater to “likes” but just be prepared to be torn down. Freedom of expression does not belong to the author only. But there is responsibility to write only the appropriate or face the consequences. If the writer chose to write openly, then be prepared to be scrutinised in the open too. Otherwise, why should he be accorded with “immunity” or “respect”, just like a PE candidate is subjected to scrutiny before the polling day. But after that, any “attack” on anyone is aggresiive. Why should “aggressors” be condoned? This is a responsibility for journalists or even trainees to be, no matter which school he belongs to. he is not writing an individual email or letter. Especially for a “hubris” teaching other not to be a “hubris”.

  • Sicole Neah

    … and Belmont being as childish as you are, you may want to add one more reason why TKL failed: “He is not as pretty as my sweetheart Nicole.” By the way, as what another person had said in an earlier post: every vote counts, and you just made your darling Nicole lose 100,000+ votes.

    By the way, I believe many of them who were queuing up for Hello Kitty toys, are Singaporeans like you, and you also pissed them off and their kids.

    Good luck to you and your darling Belmont. I hope you will Bemoan your stupidity of posting this.

    • Alex Tan

      I bemoan your stupidity for not recognising that you can link everything together and you’re not making sense. Belmont is belmont and nicole is nicole. Belmont is his own man. Let democracy decide again. Those who like it, click like. That is a true gauge of sentiments, and not your stupid comments, nameless troll.

      • Jj4jjc

        well democracy is dumb….

        we wun forgive either 1 …or vote for them

  • Pingback: Zoroukah – Tan Kin Lian ‘gave courage to other candidates’

  • Native Singaporean

    Belmont you prove me right! You are coward, immature and arrogant. You are not apologetic and there are some who sang the same song as you. They are also your accomplice. It is sad to see our youngsters becoming so disrespectful. I rest my case. Hope Nicole won’t dumb you! Continue to be a hate person in this society. A word of advice. It won’t bring you far. Watch for your karma.

    • AnonymousCoward

      and you need to watch your spelling and grammar. It’s astoundingly atrocious by any standards.

  • Hardtruth

    Belmont Lay is not the new synonym for “hubris”, Belmont Lay is hubris

  • Guest

    @Belmont Lay: What you are saying is hindsight, and as you know hindsight is perfect vision. If another Candidate X had lost badly, you would be writing about all the wrong things he did. If Candidate X won, you would not even be writing about all his flaws. Is this fair journalism?

    At least TKL did some good for 10k people 3 yrs ago. At least give the man some credit. What good have you done for the masses? Did you offer any suggestions during his campaign? No. You waited till he was done and then attacked him like a vulture.

  • Ravi

    This article is damn funny! Keep up the good work guys!

  • Alex Tan

    There are two trolls in this comment section who is posing as multiple voices. About 5 or 6 comments each time. Let the real democratic method decide! I see the Facebook likes increasing! One man, one Like! This article is great.

  • Lala


    Please learn to respect to people (including TKL and his supporters) and give your analysis in a positive light. You should not throw stone to person who is falling off a cliff.

    Afterall, it is not easy to obtain COE from PEC.

    If you really are NS’s BF, then good luck to the sweet girl.
    She really got horrifying taste

    • Alex

      belmont is not throwing stone, throw stone is cherian, eugene and reuben. They all also say why tan kin lian lost what? Why are u all pickin on belmont? The academic gave very scathing comments. You all scared to speak out against academic ah? Siao. Lets click Like to support belmont! The trolls here are too much!

      • Smart Alex

        Don’t put the blame on the academics … though he and his bunch of co-aggressors could have been their students before. Read again the article and see for yourself what “oil” Belmont Lay had added while he was flaming TKL. where is the coward “hubris” hiding? … a tortise or has turned turtle? If he is a gentlement he should apologise himself…not get NS to do so if it was indeed her.

    • Kknerffy

      Lets show these trolls what is real democracy! When there r 1,000 FB Likes, there are 1,000 real people! Belmont for president!

      • Anon

        Where are your 1000 hubris?

  • Lala


    Please learn to respect to people (including TKL and his supporters) and give your analysis in a positive light. You should not throw stone to person who is falling off a cliff.

    Afterall, it is not easy to obtain COE from PEC.

    If you really are NS’s BF, then good luck to the sweet girl.
    She really got horrifying taste

  • A Supportive singaporean

    Come on real people! Lets make it 1,000 likes by tonight! Show your support for belmont! Down with the trolls!

    • Anon

      1000 hubris?

  • Jj4jjc

    Poor Nicole,

    despite her pathetic and fultile attempts to distance herself. she is stuck in 2 hard places

    Dump the loser bf, and other will call her some1 who is willing to sacrified her close 1s for the sake of power…

    Stick with the loser and this article will haunt her forever.

    as for the brat, retract the article and he compromise his journalistic integrity…

    or leave it here as proof of his hubris


    • Derpina

      I don’t know about you but that last bit of HAHAHAH seems to add credibility to your post.

  • Guest

    I find it strange that some people would make comparison of Belmont to Chia Tilik and Goh Meng Seng. This is doing great injustice to both Chia Tilik and Goh Meng Seng; they have much better upbringing than a spoilt brat like Belmont here.

    Although CTL and GMS left WP, but it is due to their different views on media engagement, not because they have made bad comments on other known individuals, least attempted classless, below the belt attack on their PAP opponents. Most important of all, both of them have shown great commitment towards public service in continuing their political quest in taking the task of fighting the big giant PAP, instead of Belmont’s child’s play of mocking the weaker ones here.

    I have observed that the people of the same feathers flock together. Perhaps Nicole Seah is really of the same feathers like her boyfriend Belmont here. The kind of social attitude is formed when you stick to the same group of people. If you observe here, almost all the young punks at New Nation are trying very hard to defend Belmont. And if you have read some of the articles written by them on New Nation, you will find that they are actually very young arrogant young punks who think they know the world better. This is not the only articles on New Nation which tries to thumb down other individuals. The attempt to pass this article as “fun” or “humor” is just a show of pathetic lack of intellectual integrity.

    My good advice to people at New Nation, stop trying to think that you could put up good serious stuffs like politics. You could well write better on comics and Hello Kitty for a living, if you think you are really that humorous.

    • Jj4jjc

      there was no intention to compare him with CTL and GMS …. while I think they are both jokers…. it is an insult to compare them wit nicole bitch and her bratty bf…!!!!

      i was just trying to say that she could have learn from their example…

      • Guest

        That is your own opinion but CTL and GMS are NOT jokers, they are serious political players. Without them, WP may not have recovered from the doldrums of 2001 whereby JBJ left WP.

        Regardless of what you think of them, they have contributed tremendously to the sustainability of WP, to tie them over. Out of the new people back in GE 2006, how many of them do you remember? If you want to talk about “popular joker”, Yaw Shin Leong, ironically now WP MP, is one prominent one, who has openly declare that he voted for PAP in GE2006. If you want, you can compare to YSL instead.

        GMS in particular, has moved on to NSP and helped to build up its platform. Very few people would deny the fact that without GMS, NSP would be NOTHING, even though people remember the nude photo Steve Chia but most people don’t even know he is from NSP. NSP’s name is so lowly recognized after it left SDA that nobody really bothers about it until GMS came along to rebuild its name. If you have read NSP’s newsletter North Star and compare it to WP Hammer or SDP Democrats, you would realize that the articles and views published on North Star are the most relevent and best among these three main opposition newspapers. In terms of design and layout of North Star, it is much better than WP Hammer and more professional than SDP tabliod Democrat which only carries rhetorics and slants. Nicole Seah is just free riding on the good platform and foundation that GMS has built up over the years.

        CTL chose to form his own party. Although he has tried his best but he has made little progress. But at least when it comes to crunch, he has kept his party out of GE2011 so not to be a spoiler in creating 3 corner fights. He should be respected for such matured and responsible act.

        Nicole, her boyfriend and her whole gang are nothing near in comparison to GMS and CTL. People should be objective in judging opposition “mavericks” like GMS and CTL. They may be mavericks, but they have contributed tremendously to the whole opposition.

  • Skipper149

    Just came across this article. 

    Many people have defended the article and its writer saying this is freedom of expression etc. Well, whatever, but there is such a thing as “gutter journalism” you know?