What are the focus of Singapore’s Presidential Candidates?

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what are the focus of singapore’s presidential candidates

The trio of Singapore’s presidential candidates, Ng Kok Song, Tharman Shanmugaratnam, and Tan Kin Lian, engaged in a thought-provoking discussion on Monday (Aug 28) evening. 

Broadcasted live on CNA, the forum delved into multifaceted matters, including the utilization of Singapore’s past reserves and the commitment to nurturing an inclusive and compassionate society.

Unlocking Reserves and Crisis Considerations

Addressing the role of Singapore’s President in safeguarding the past reserves, the candidates stressed the importance of discernment in unlocking these reserves. 

They pointed to two vital considerations: ensuring that the funds positively impact the populace and evaluating the nature of the prevailing crisis. Tharman Shanmugaratnam, a former Senior Minister, underscored the necessity of spending wisely, not merely surviving crises but emerging stronger. 

Fair distribution was another key aspect, where Tharman emphasized assisting all segments of society, especially the marginalized, for a more robust recovery.

Tan Kin Lian, the former NTUC Income chief, brought attention to the interests of the people and the propriety of the reserves’ utilization. 

He referenced past instances during the COVID-19 pandemic where funds were allocated to profitable banks, raising questions about suitable expenditure. 

Tan highlighted the President’s role in understanding the appropriateness of reserve usage and its alignment with public welfare. Thorough examination of such aspects forms a pivotal part of his approach.

Ng Kok Song, a former chief investment officer of GIC, added depth to the discourse by emphasizing the reserves’ role in benefiting current and future generations. 

He advocated for careful analysis of the total reserve size, proposed government spending, future return expectations, and alternate revenue sources. Ng accentuated the importance of comprehensive evaluation before resorting to drawing from the past reserves.

Moving to social dynamics, the candidates shared their vision of a compassionate and inclusive Singapore. The significance of volunteering, charity, and support for marginalized groups emerged as a common thread. Ng Kok Song envisioned himself as a chief volunteer, inspiring fellow volunteers and advocating for caregivers. 

Tan Kin Lian vowed to extend the President’s charity tradition while focusing on the well-being of elderly citizens. Tharman Shanmugaratnam pledged to actively support grassroots initiatives, targeting vulnerable children, individuals facing mental stress, and the elderly.

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Candidate Appeal and Closing Statements

In their final statements, each candidate emphasized their unique strengths. Tan Kin Lian highlighted his independent mindset, commitment to transparency, and focus on issues concerning the youth. 

Tharman Shanmugaratnam positioned himself as an optimistic leader who draws inspiration from Singaporeans’ potential for excellence. Ng Kok Song underscored his non-partisan approach, emphasizing his dedication to safeguarding Singapore’s future without personal ambition for power or fame.

The live presidential forum provided a comprehensive glimpse into the perspectives of the three candidates vying to lead Singapore. 

Their discussions spanned from fiscal responsibility and crisis management to nurturing a compassionate society. As Singaporeans prepare to cast their votes, the vision and plans articulated by these candidates will guide the nation’s future path.

Load More By Jasmine C.
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