A few readers drew a parallel between the Punggol East bye-election and the Presidential Election. I want to take this opportunity to give some background.
In July 2011, a few people urged me to stand for the Presidential Election, so that there would be no more walkover. Tan Cheng Bock had expressed his interest to contest, but he was considered at that time to be a PAP person There was a strong chance that he would be disqualified, as he did not have a strong financial background, as Andrew Kuan was rejected at the previous election.
After some hesitation, I decided to collect the nomination form. Several of the non-PAP parties pledged their support for me at that time.
The situation changed when Tan Jee Say also expressed interest in the election. Based on his background, he should not have qualified, following the rejection of Andrew Kuan.
It was a surprise to my team that all four candidates were approved by the Committee. I had a meeting with Tan Jee Say to decide on one party to withdraw, but there was no agreement. The rest is history.
I want Singaporeans to know, especially those that are not so circumspective, that if I had not entered into the election, there is a high chance that it would be no election like in 2005, i.e. another walkover.
Through my involvement, I have made a contribution in insuring that there will be a election at future Presidential elections, as the recent decision of the Presidential Election Committee had opened the field to many thousand possible candidates.
I do not have any intention to take part in a future election, but I hope that my small contribution to opening up the election process would be appreciated.