Tan Cheng Bock weighs in on the outcome of Reserved Elections


Today, Dr Tan Cheng Bock has made public comments on the outcome of PE2017:

My congratulations to President-elect Mdm Halimah Yacoob. Today she returned unopposed and will occupy the most controversial presidency in the history of Singapore. I wish her well.

Singaporeans are, however, unhappy with the walkover.

I think one reason is this: when the Commission recommended scrapping the Presidential elections and reverting to an appointed Presidency, the Government White Paper rejected the idea. They explained it was important for citizens to give the Presidency their “popular” and “direct” mandate.

In PE 2011, I stood for elections because I did not want a walkover.

In fact, I recall that in 1993, the Government’s preferred candidate was Ong Teng Cheong. Everyone knew he would win. But Dr Goh Keng Swee still went out of his way to persuade Mr Chua Kim Yeow to stand for elections. Why? To prevent a walkover and give citizens the dignity of expressing their choice.

But for PE 2017, the Government did not put up another Malay candidate aside from Mdm Halimah. Instead, 2 independent candidates, Salleh Marican and Farid Khan, valiantly stepped up. Everyone knew Mdm Halimah would win. Still, we looked forward to a poll to tell the Government what we thought about the elections. However, the PEC rejected the 2 men (contrast PE 2011 where the PEC permitted Tan Kin Lian and Tan Jee Say to contest via the deliberative track). As a result, we have a disappointing walkover.

People now feel muzzled and angry. Because when you take away our right to vote, you take away our political voice. You tell us that our choice does not matter.

PE 2017 has been a quiet affair. But there is now a deafening silence awakening the nation. We did not get a chance to speak with our vote this round, but the time will come. And when it does, it will be thunderous. Of this I am sure.


  1. This is kind of president with integrity we need not some one come from the back door. Very sad day for Singapore reserve president to have to given a seat rather than earn the seat . How can this be an acceptable to the reserve president when already it is fine to have a reserve PE.? I’m lost why these uncommon sense is accepted.

  2. I think we have to make this clear. I believe every body agrees that we are not against Mdm Halimah Yacob personally. Not against her gender, race or religion. But we are all against the undemocratic political processes handled by this ruling G. In any other situation, this kind of process would have been considered a SCAM! Everything is arranged so that there is only one outcome in favour of the ruling G. And it is very obvious that the ruling G is making it impossible for a certain man (we know who) to get a chance of being elected president. Yet they called this a “Elected Presidency”. They think we are stupid?

  3. PAP n PM Lee HL were afraid to lose if it were a 2 or 3 horses race….fundamentally she does NOT have the basics to be a chosen President. She would have lost even if they split the votes as ground feeling was absolutely ‘unhappy’. Last GE, we got 2 ‘Tans’ were, in my humble opinion, wrongly placed to be PE candidate…a straight fight: Dr. Tan would have won.

  4. PE2017 – Has WP failed Singaporeans?

    WP has let people down. They should have boycotted the swearing ceremony to reflect people anger.

    WP has no desire to govern – they just want to have half a dozen or dozen MPs in parliament and give speeches in parliament as well as during WP rallies.

    The way in which WP has allowed itself to be floored in AHPETC saga makes me wonder does WP even know how to play politics like PAP does?

    Where is the fire, WP?

    WP is a meek opposition. When this fixing started last year, they should called out PAP and condemned in strongest possible way.

    Even TCB also looks like a simpleton. Instead of going to court, he should have organized indefinite daily fast at Hong Lim to protest when the commission was doing hearing to protest against brazen misuse of power.

    Singaporeans are pussy cats. Generation of LKY rule has resulted in very amateurish politicians who don’t know how to play politics.

    We are doomed.

  5. Mr Tan Cheng Bock expected “a thunderous response” in the future. I think he will de disappointed again…… from what i experienced, if the opposition rally has more ppl…. the votes or margin actually shrunk…… “雷声大,雨点小。” Lets not disappoint him again.