Friday, December 28, 2012

Splitting of the votes

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.


yujuan said...

In a democracy, more candidates contesting does not contribute to a democratic cause.
In Singapore, there are too many political, fractious parties whose leaders have high self ego, each with its own political Agenda.
It's best if there is a charismatic Opposition leader who has ability to gather and unite all Parties as one to take on the PAP. At this juncture, dun see one to appear yet.
PAP wins not based on its exceptional ability to find best candidates, in fact many of them are at most mediocre, only taking the fast elevator route provided by their peers to steal into Parliament.
PAP wins based on strategy by observing human reflex response to human weaknesses, and backed by its powerful machinery, makes full use of it in its attack. Ego is a human weakness, face is another, idealism is yet another, these three verging together is enuff to blunt one's rational mind, triggering in-infighting among themselves. Everyone thinks he is still the best. This Disunity is what PAP wan to see.
And PAP uses its Election Dept, made up with their own kakis, as the tool to mount the first Infantry attack, e.g., by qualifying all candidates, to create the most chance to split the votes.
We see this classic example in the PE. Could say both TKL and TJS inevitably fell into the trap nicely. Have a suspicion TJS, whether a willing partner or not, most probably was the main tool, in an elaborate web, spun to trap the victims. TKL also looked like an unsuspecting victim in this web too. Just beware of one person, that TJS.
Surprisingly, NSP is showing to be the most rational Opposition Party on the scene. Looks like its former Head, Goh, being out of the way is better for the Party.
In Politics, History provides the best mirror to see and emulate.
Centuries ago, Mongolia had many tribes, each with a powerful Khan with their own fiefdom, all also at war with each other. It's to the credit of Genghis Khan who had the charismatic leadership to unite all these fractious, warring tribes into one, leading to the glorious Era of one united Mongolia, able to take on China.
In Singapore, only LKY is one such leader, but he's written off now due to old age and illness.
Presently, dun have another on the horizon. PAP is only held together by the smell of money, only with money, its members could talk together.
Dun bode well for Democracy here.
Should have only 2 Political Parties, each taking turns to slap the other dosing Party awake.
Only such Democracy will bode well for us.

John said...

Thank you Mr Tan for taking this chance to explain your intentions in taking part in the last PE. I do believe what you had explained here, and I think like what yujuan commented here, you might have been an unsuspecting victim in being led into the PE contest, as splitting the votes would auger best chance for PAP contester to win it.

While you had lost the election with the lowest votes, many had questioned why you had taken part as you would had little chance of winning. I suspected that you know this, and with your clarificaiton now, I admire your true intention of joining the PE. Still, not many know your well intention, or believe you, I think. But, at least, you have one supporter here.

For the record, I had voted for you, as I truly supported you as a sincere contestor who are the most non-partisan among all, and able to give singaporeans some hope of changing certain things as a President.


Ryuu Shun Hayashi said...

Now I understand your rationale far more. This historical context was not visible to us during the elections.

When I first listened to you during the Presidential Debates I was very impressed, and I believed at the time you were probably the best candidate for President among the four. However, the poll results prior to the election showed you as trailing behind the other 3 candidates by a very large margin.

I did not want President Tony Tan to be elected, as he had committed to making no changes, in effect. Nor did I want Mr Tan Jee Say, who had committed to drive a wedge between the Legislature under the President and the Executive under the ruling party.

While in principle I should have voted for you, in practice, I wanted to ensure, as far as possible, that neither President Tony Tan nor Tan Jee Say will be elected President. Dr Tan Cheng Bock is a good man as well, and while I favour your approach to his, I favour his over the other two alternatives.

Therefore, in those circumstances, I had to vote for Dr Tan Cheng Bock instead.

I say this for the sole reason that I believe many others felt that way. Your small percentage in the PE2012 was not representative of your actual influence or popularity in the nation. The moderates were split between Dr Tan Cheng Bock and you, and like the Punggol East voters gave the Reform Party and Singapore Democratic Alliance next to no votes in order to concentrate votes in the Workers' Party, we did the same to concentrate our support on the most likely moderate candidate to win the election. As it turns out, we failed to do so by a razor-thin margin.

If you were to view me as not being a loyal supporter for doing so, I will accept that in exchange for being able to say that more people support you than you might think.

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