Ng Kok Song Talks About Being Booed At Nomination Day & Challenges Of Being The Underdog

Ng Kok Song Says He’s An Underdog As He’s Not A Government-Endorsed Candidate

Presidential candidate Ng Kok Song described himself as an ‘underdog’, and gave us his take on what it meant and felt like to be one.

Case in point, Nomination Day, when all three Presidential candidates, Mr Ng included, were invited to give a two-minute speech after being successfully nominated.

Nomination Day 2023: Ng Kok Song Promises To Protect S’pore’s 3 National Treasures If Elected President

However, when Mr Ng was giving his speech, some boos rang from the crowd at points.

To overcome that, he said he would do so by speaking from his heart, and by “speaking to the hearts of Singaporeans.”

Mr Ng further mentioned that he wishes to conduct himself in a gentlemanly way during his campaigning, and not point out others’ faults.

Ng Kok Song says he’s at a disadvantage as he’s not government-endorsed

Speaking to the media at a doorstop interview on Tuesday (22 Aug), Mr Ng flat out said he was not a government-endorsed candidate.

“That makes me an underdog, and that’s why people ask, ‘How do you rate your chances?'”

The indication, he pointed out, is that people believe Mr Ng has little or no chance of winning the presidential race.

“Look at the nomination centre today,” Mr Ng continued. “How many buses brought the supporters of the other candidate? How outnumbered we were?”

“When I spoke, I was booed — that is the meaning of being an underdog, of being underrated.”

He was referring to his Nomination Day speech at the People’s Association headquarters today.

Being an underdog, however, does not appear to faze Mr Ng. He then spoke about how he planned to overcome the disadvantage of being a non-establishment candidate.

I overcome that by speaking from my heart, and by speaking to the hearts of Singaporeans.

“Life has its challenges. Sometimes we face certain disadvantages, but we must not despair. We can pick ourselves up, and we can overcome those disadvantages.”

Wants to compete in a gentlemanly way even though he’s an underdog

Mr Ng declined to criticise or comment on fellow candidate Tan Kin Lian when asked about the latter’s social media posts about “pretty girls”.

“I want to win this election by my merits, not to point out other people’s faults,” he said. “But I think if we want to stand for the president, we must respect people of all generations and gender.”

“I hope to be able to honour and do that, and to conduct my election campaign in a gentlemanly and respectful way.”

Shows the area where he grew up

Mr Ng invited the media to a block in Hougang, which he said was where he grew up.

According to him, the area was known as Kangkar when it was a kampung.

“This is the first place I came to since this morning’s nomination. At this very spot, was where I was born.”

He spoke of how his mother had to borrow money from their neighbours to buy his school textbooks, and she cried when her neighbours said they had no more money to lend.

After that incident when Mr Ng was 12, he said he was motivated to lift his family out of poverty.

Might visit a getai during campaigning

Mr Ng mentioned that when he was younger, the entire Teochew village would gather during the Hungry Ghost Festival for getai performances.

He did not rule out visiting a getai while campaigning over the next eight days.

However, Mr Ng said he does not see the need to hold a physical rally — he is aiming instead to hold virtual seminars so he can reach out to more young Singaporeans.

There will be 17% new voters at the coming PE, and he said he isn’t only going to target that demographic, but also people who aren’t yet of voting age, such as teenagers.

Financial literacy has been one of Mr Ng’s cornerstones even before he announced his intention to run for president.

He thus wishes to educate people on this, whether it is for election campaigning or not.

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Featured image by MS News. Photography by Iskandar Rossali.

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