Saturday, June 18, 2011

Certificate of Eligibility

It is quite difficult to fill up the form to apply for the Certificate of Eligibility, especially for an applicant (like me) who has to seek for approval under the special category of a comparable position. I have to provide the financial figures and other detailed information for four years (i.e. 2003 to 2006) and be careful not to make any mistake.

I also have to get certificate from the company secretary and the auditors and make a statement before the commission of oaths. I also have to get three referees to give a testimony of my character. Running around to get other people to sign the statements and documents is a big hassle. They are busy people, so I have to make appointments. And I am also busy!

I have to fill up the form in three separate copies (and be careful not to make a mistake). I don't know why the election department accept my application form in one copy and make photocopies for the three person committee to study. (Maybe, they do not realize that a photocopy machine exists!).

This is why I have still not been able to submit my application for the certificate of eligibility yet.

Tan Kin Lian

Tan Kin Lian for President website

Visit the website,

Smears in blog

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

Candidates for the Presidential Election

Attending a wake

I went to the wake of an old friend, whose mother passed away. My friend introduced me to all of the relatives and friends as a "potential candidate for President".

Many of the new acquaintances told me, who were from the heartlands and Chinese speaking, told me that they liked  my message of donating a large part of the President's salary to charity, if I were elected. They felt strong empathy to this gesture and assured me of their support.

Tan Kin Lian

Yahoo Poll shows Tony Tan in the lead

Friday, June 17, 2011

Tan Kin Lian on Yahoo News

A President who will speak up

Spirit of Neutrality

I read this interesting point of view:

I agree with the statement that the President should be "above politics". Let us be clear about what this term really means.

I have been asked a few times if I support any specific political party. My reply is "no". I believe in the values of  honesty, fairness, positive attitude, courage and public service and will use these values to guide me in deciding what is good for Singapore and for the people. I will actively promote these values and will be guided by these values in exercising the duties of the President, should if I should get elected into this office.

I believe that most people will know the difference between "being involved in politics" and exercising judgement based on a set of values and principles. I know that many people will want a President who is able to exercise his or her judgement independently of the Government or any political party. I will participate in the election to give them this choice.

Tan Kin Lian

Apartment for rent at Thomson View

2 bedroom apartment for rent at Thomson View, opposite Thomson Plaza. Available from 1 August 2011 @ $3,000 pm. Check out on Easy Ads, Look for Property for Rent. Interested tenant, send email to

You can also view details of apartment here.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

3 million unique visitors

My blog crossed 3 million unique visitors at 10 pm, Thursday 16 June 2011. Thank you for your support and regular visits!

PAP endorsed candidate

I carried out a survey to ask who is likely to be the candidate endorsed by PAP. I received 31 responses. The top candidates are:

Abdullah Tarmugi - 5 votes
Tony Tan - 4 votes
S Jakakumar - 4 votes
Goh Chok Tong - 3 votes
George Yeo - 3 votes

S Jayakumar and George Yeo have announced that they will not be contesting. So, we have Abdullah Tarmugi, Tony Tan and Goh Chok Tong left. Will the "wisdom of the crowd" be proved right?

An adequate lifestyle for a retired couple

I carried out a survey two months ago to ask about the monthly expenses for a retired couple. Only 5 people participated in the survey. Here are the results. Please note that due to the small sample, the results may be unreliable:

Utilities and other expenses for HDB flat                $386
Food for a couple                                                 $450
Medical expenses                                                 $256
TV, internet, telephone                                         $124
Public transport                                                    $88
Travel and holiday                                                $414
Gifts                                                                     $67
Total                                                                    $1,785 (say $1,800)

If the retired couple owns a car, the monthly expenses goes up by another $600. If they skip holidays, the expenses drop by $400.


Speech at Speaker's Corner, 5 to 6 pm 18 June 2011 (Saturday) - cancelled

Sorry, I got the wrong date. I am not able to speak on the actual date, 25 June 2011

Is PAP a profligate government?

Read this interesting interpretation and twist of events!

Presidential election for 2011

It is likely that the contest will be between Dr. Tony Tan, Dr. Tan Cheng Bock and Mr. Tan Kin Lian. Which candidate will you choose and why? Give your views here.

Endorsement for Tan Kin Lian

Many supporters have asked encouraged me to stand for election as President.
I like to ask them to write an endorsement along the lines set out here.
You can provide the endorsement here.
You can view the statements that I have issued previously here.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Growing old in Singapore

Presidential Election - George Yeo

Several journalists have asked for my comments on the decision by BG George Yeo not to run for the Presidential election. Here is my reply.

I have high regard for BG George Yeo and believe that he has the qualities to make a good President, if he is elected. I respect his decision not to contest the election and wish him all the best for the future. I hope that BG George Yeo will be available to contest in a future election.

Statement on the Role of Elected President

This statement contains Tan Kin Lian's views on the role of the Elected President, in reply to the statements made by several government ministers.

Recently, some present and previous senior members of government sought to clarify the role of the Elected President as defined in the Constitution of Singapore.

I welcome these clarifications and in principle agree with and respect the prerogative and responsibility of the Government to govern. I accept that the President's office is NOT a separate political centre and does not have any executive power. My own published statements as well as those in my blog have made the very same points.

The gist of the comments has been that the Elected President has only "custodial powers" and not "executive powers". I agree with these comment and in doing so, I would like to point out that we should not suggest that these custodial powers are unimportant or ineffectual. By definition, custodial responsibility entails the provision of protective supervision and guardianship. The Elected President does not govern but is responsible for ensuring that the defined areas under his "custody" are properly and satisfactorily

governed. Much can be achieved in a climate of co-operation and mutual respect. This will inevitably lead to national harmony and progress.

I believe that one does not need to be armed with strong executive powers to make an impact. A well qualified and properly elected President will make his impact through the power to persuade, to influence, to counsel, to convey feedback and if necessary, to articulate informed positions on specific issues.

The founding fathers of the Elected President's office would have wanted it to perform more than ceremonial duties. To quote Law Minister Mr K Shanmugan, "the President's veto powers are an important check against a profligate government squandering the nation's reserves, or undermining the integrity of the public service". These powers and responsibilities cannot operate in a vacuum and the Elected President should be given all needed support by the Government and the Civil Service to discharge these.

If I were elected as the President, I like to be able to work in full co-operation with the Government within the roles defined in the Constitution of Singapore. I will not have any political affiliation and will be guided by my five values of Honesty, Fairness, Positive Approach, Courage and Public Service. I will at all times also be guided by the views of the people, which I will actively seek.

It is my hope that in his desire to ensure enlightened transformation, the Prime Minister and his Government will respect, support and facilitate a credible role for the Elected President, for the overall good of the People of Singapore.

Tan Kin Lian

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Exorbitant hospital bill

Dear Mr Tan
My friend's godfather had to be hospitalized for several days because of a heart problem, a samaritan from his church readily helped oversee his admission and treatment. 
The samaritan settled the bill - I think it was $16,000 or $18,000 for - and then asked my friend to pay her.   
My friend examined the bill and refused to pay her yet cos it was just too exorbitantThe medicines alone (including antibiotics) cost $6,000!

So she went to the Net to check (and found a certain medication cos far far less) and asked for a meeting with the hospital. Earlier, when she called the hospital, a medical staff couldn't explain why the charges were so high. (We suspect it could be a scam involving the Samaritan and the hospital staff preying on sick, retiring people.).

A Straits Times journalist did a story on the need to be transparent on the medical/medicine charges), taking up on an issue that Sylvia Lim had raised in Parliament. That was just a few months before the general election. I hope the new Health Minister would make improvements.

My grandaughters - Vera and Nadya

Here is a picture of my two grand-daughters, taken more than a year ago. I will put up an updated picture later.

In case you wonder why they have Russian names, my son-in-law Vitali is Russian. (Hear this song Moscow Night)

You can join my facebook page here:

Monday, June 13, 2011

Promotion of TKL books

The promotion ends on 30 June. Read this.

Approaching 3 million mark

I will be reaching 3 million unique visitors to my blog within two days.

FISCA Financial Planning Talk - 25 June 2011

This is a full day talk to cover many topics in financial planning. Register early. More details are found here:

Be educated on financial matters, and safeguard your financial future. Learn how to get a fair return on your savings.

Medical fees and medicines

Mr Tan,
The medical fees and medicine inclusive to be paid by a citizen of Malaysia, when he / she visiting a government clinic, do you know how much is it? If you read the next statement you are going to faint… It is only paying Malaysia Ringgit 1 only !

The Malaysia government able to survive for the good of all the citizens since then, I wander the government of Singapore has to charge her citizens so much more when  paying a visit to the government Polyclinics?

It is all from the fund of subsidies whether willing to take care of her citizens’ welfare. How other countries going to care for the citizens sickness or health,perhaps you may able to enlighten us.


Affordable Health Care

Many elderly people are worried about the cost of health care. Here are some suggestions on how it can be addressed.

Why the president cannot keep quiet

The moon represents my heart (4 languages)

TAKE A BREAK AND ENJOY THIS SONG (1,500 Signaporeans have viewed it!)

I dedicate this popular song - "the moon represents my heart" - sung in four languages (Chinese, English, Malay and Tamil) to my fellow citizens of Singapore. I hope that you enjoy it. This song was sung at a charity concert in 2006.

Note: This song was the favourite of Mrs. Ong, the wife of President Ong Teng Cheong. It is also my favourite song. I also dedicate this song to the memory of President and Mrs. Ong.

Good democratic system

View by Michael13 (posted as a comment in my blog) 
Personally, I find that any good democratic system needs to have two important characteristics:

1. Empowering the people.
2. Uniting the nation.

In Germany, the government is very responsive to people's aspirations and their needs. And the people are respectful to their elected leaders and willing to cooperate. The relationship is more on equal partner basis. Unlike ours which is talking about 'Masters and Servants'(far from truth). I think the German sound education system contributes a great deal towards this very desirable happy outcome. Anyone cares to share?

View by Tan Kin Lian (in reply to Michael 13)
I have high regard for the German education system (which I wrote about earlier in my blog). I also the values and practical approach of Germany - including their democratic structure (although I confess that I do not know this matter in depth). 

I also like their social security and health care system - which are based on the right balance between pro-business and pro-people.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Temasek Review - Facebook Poll

Here is an interesting poll conducted by Temasek Review on Facebook.

The ranking is
George Yeo
Tan Kin Lian
Dr. Tan Cheng Bock
D.r Tony Tan
S R Nathan

SGEP - Singapore Economic and Social Portal

This portal provides links to articles (appearing in other blogs and websites) on economic and social matters affecting Singapore. It also makes a brief summary of the article.

It is a useful portal to get a good view of the articles that are posted elsewhere. You can click on the link to go to these websites.

You will see comments from other people about Tan Kin Lian. Some of these comments are based on mis-understanding about my intents. Please correct them by referring them to the statements in my website on the Presidential Election (see

Some people make defamatory statements about me. You can ask them to substantiate their statements or stop their defamation. Help me to combat these smears.

Tan Kin Lian

A view on the Internal Security Act

Dear Mr. Tan,

For me, everyone in this world, terrorists, criminals or not, deserves a fair trial. There might be times that the country must use draconian laws to detain a suspect based on intelligence that he might commit a large scale crime. However, at other times, if the country uses the draconian law at any slightest flimsy belief that a person is jeopardizing the security of the country, it can be said that the country is no better than a terrorist himself.

The president council, which advises the president on this matter, will play an important moral role in determining whether ISA should be deployed. The president and his council must not be seen as a trigger-happy entity. As such, the president council, upon receiving intelligence, information and recommendations from the home ministry that ISA should be invoked, must scrutinise the information very carefully.

Firstly, the president council must be at least 95% confident that the Home ministry's justifications on the use of ISA is valid. After that, the council may advise the president accordingly, and the president would have to scrutinise the information again and must be at least 95% confident that the council's justifications are valid. (As to what information and intelligence that can substantiate a 95% confidence, I am not privy to them so I think you need to do more research on it since you are running as president).

And so the Home Ministry gets the nod and proceed to arrest the suspect under ISA. Then, by all means a fair trial should be prepared immediately for him. The president might have no discretion on this matter, but I think it is fairly appropriate and within the constitution that the president can speak-up and urge on this matter and not maintaining silence, since the president is directly involve in the arrest. The president must show a moral authority that advocates a fair trial for everyone.

According to the constitution, the ISA detainee may be detained for up to 2 years, after which the Home ministry can extend the period indefinitely. It needs the assent of the president, but here the president have no discretion.

What the president should do in this case is to push for transparency as to why the ISA detainee is arrested in the first place. Since it is already 2 years, documents which leads to the arrest ought to be published for the public to see. Only then the public can perceive the government as free and fair. If 2 years is too short and the issue is still a national security where documents must be kept secret, then by all means extend the declassification to 3 - 5 years later. But whatever it is, at the end provide justification on the decision of the government and the president.

Sophia Ong

Payment to FISCA

Some people asked how to make payment of FISCA for subscription, event or donation. Please read here

Do we need an Elected President?

There is a long thread in my Facebook account on this questions. I have joined in the conversation with this reply:

Many people think that we do not need to pay $4.2 million for a President to do the job. I agree. In my statement, I have stated that I would donate a large part of the salary towards charity, if I am elected. Read my various statements here: Some people think that we do not need to have an Elected President and can go back to the old type of ceremonial president. I also agree. But since we already have this type of constitution and a president has to be elected, I have decided to stand and offer a choice to the people of Singapore.

President has executive powers

Financing your child's tertiary education

I saw an article in the Sunday Times about the high cost of financing your child's tertiary education and the need to make savings towards this goal. I wish to supplement the article with these tips:

1. Financing your child's education is only one part of a total financial plan. You also need to save for your own retirement needs.

2. You should set aside 15% (or more) of your monthly income towards savings, on top of your CPF contributions. There will be times in the future when your income drop or you have to meet unexpected expenses or you get unemployed - so it is important to make adequate saving when you have a steady income.

3.  You have to invest your savings in a low cost investment fund to achieve a yield of 4% or higher for the long term. Your money in the bank earns less than 1% per annum. The bank may try to sell you a life insurance policy that give you a long term yield of less than 3% per annum (and it should be avoided).

4.  Read about financial planning from my book here ( or attend the educational talks organised by FISCA ( Be educated about financial planning and be able to make the right decisions.

Tan Kin Lian

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