Monday, November 24, 2008

Musings on Mr. Tan Kin Lian's political ambitions

I suppose that by now, most of you all would already be aware that Mr. Tan Kin Lian has expressed his desire to run for Singapore’s elected presidency if there are at least 100,000 Singaporeans who will be willing to support him.

While I am neither strongly for nor strongly against his running for the presidency, I am of the opinion that it would perhaps be more advisable for Mr. Tan to not run for the presidency.

Why do I think that it would be more advisable for Mr. Tan to not run for the presidency?

Firstly, should Mr. Tan run for the presidency, it is highly likely, if not inevitable, that there would be those who will insinuate that the recent rallies organised by Mr. Tan at Hong Lim Park are but mere attempts by him to garner political capital. As it is, there are already those who cast aspersions on Mr. Tan’s motives behind organising the abovementioned rallies. There may also be those who, being doubtful of Mr. Tan’s motives, may be deterred from attending these rallies. Such insinuations and doubts would not be easy to dismiss should Mr. Tan runs for the presidency. Hence, should Mr. Tan runs for the presidency, it is most likely that the good work he is doing through the rallies he has organised would become tainted by his running for the presidency.

Secondly, should Mr. Tan actually runs for the presidency and wins it, it is most likely that, bearing in mind the various constraints placed on the office of Singapore’s presidency and that the PAP-dominated government & parliament may not cooperate with a president not endorsed by them, his effectiveness would be severely hindered. Hence, it would perhaps be better that Mr. Tan stays outside the political arena and not risk being boxed in; staying outside the political arena, Mr. Tan has and will continue to do more and better work than if he enters the political arena.

Hence, in conclusion, I suppose that just as how it was for the better that Al Gore, despite the many repeated appeals for him to run again for the US presidency, decided to not do so but instead choose to remain committed to his work as an environmental activist, it would perhaps be for the better if Mr. Tan does not run for the presidency.

Of course, if Mr. Tan does eventually manage to run for the presidency, I would nonetheless, depending on the circumstances at the time of the presidential contest, consider casting my vote for him.

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