There were some lies and smears in blogs and websites against me. I wish to give the facts so that fair minded people can make their judgement. I urge people who know me personally or through the statements posted in my website, to put the facts across to counter these smears.
18 June 2011
Smears in blogs
There are a few people who have posted untrue statements about my past activities and current intentions in several blogs and websites.
Briefly, the remarks about me were:
I have served as a powerful PAP branch secretary for 30 years
I was disgruntled for not being invited to be a PAP MP
I have been silent on national issues until recently
Like other insurance companies, I was ripping off the policyholders of Income
I used the opportunity of the mini-bond saga for political purpose
I wish to give the following facts, so that fair minded people can make their judgment of the facts and my character.
PAP Branch Secretary
I was branch secretary for Marine Parade for 3 years. I stepped down to become the chairman of the community center management committee. I did not want to hold many positions at the same time, and do not wish to be a "powerful" branch secretary. That position did not have much influence during my time, apart from organizing the weekly meet-the-people session. (Sorry, to give away this 'party secret').
Serving as PAP MP
I did not aspire to be a MP under the PAP. I was asked twice if I was interested, once in 1979 and again in 1985 (not sure about the dates).
I declined on both occasions - as I believed that a MP should be a full time job and I cannot do justice to this job, while running NTUC Income as the chief executive officer. I had a stronger reason in 1985, as I disagreed with the direction of the party policy (on national service, graduate mother scheme, etc).
Writing to the media
Over the past 25 years, I have written many letters that were published in the newspapers on several issues where I took positions that were different from the prevailing government policies.
Most notable were my views about national service - which disadvantaged our male citizens in competing for jobs against females and non-citizens. I believed then that it would have a significant negative impact on our country. We have now seen the decline in marriage and birth rates - of which national service for males is an important factor (but not the sole factor).
I have also made several suggestions on public transport, protection of consumers and other matters of concern to ordinary citizens. In most cases, there was no reply from the relevant authority – apart from the cursory acknowledgement. Many people knew me and my views through my letters published to the newspapers.
Serving the policyholders
Many policyholders of NTUC Income know that I run the insurance cooperative on the principles of honesty and fairness and in their best interests. I kept expenses low and was able to provide an attractive return on their life insurance savings, which is much better than those offered by other insurance companies. They are able to see the difference in how policyholders are treated, after I have retired from Income.
Helping the victims
The victims of the mini-bond saga knew that my primary purpose was to help them as much as I could during the difficult times. They appreciated my efforts and do not harbor any suspicion that I had a political motive (which I did not).
Many of them urged me to stand for Presidential Election so that they have a chance to vote for someone who is able to be independent of the Government. Several of them have written their endorsements of my character.
Tan Kin Lian