Tharman Shares Hopes For Singapore If He Becomes President
After declaring his intention on Thursday (8 June) to run for President, Senior Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam penned a lengthy Facebook post reflecting on his years of service in the Government and grassroots.
He shared that he had received countless requests from Singaporeans to join the election should President Halimah step down.
Admitting that it was a “difficult decision”, Mr Tharman said he arrived at it after consulting with family and giving careful thought.
He eventually came to the realisation that he can now best serve Singapore in a role that’s “above politics”.
Tharman will represent unity of Singaporeans as President
Giving a glimpse of what citizens may expect if he were to fill President Halimah’s shoes, Mr Tharman wrote:
If I am fortunate enough to be elected as President, I will represent the unity of Singaporeans, of all races and religions, social backgrounds, and political persuasions at a time when views in the population are becoming more diverse.
I will be thorough and impartial in fulfilling the constitutional duties of the President with regard to the prudent use of the nation’s reserves and the key appointments which safeguard the integrity of the Singapore system.
And importantly too, I will work to the best of my abilities to project Singapore’s interests and voice of reason in an increasingly fractured and turbulent world, building on my leadership of various international panels to date.
Has spent entire working life serving Singaporeans
As much as he anticipates the future, Mr Tharman is also immensely thankful for all his past experiences.
I am deeply grateful for the opportunities I have been given to serve Singapore over 40 years.
I am particularly thankful to PM Lee for his leadership, advice and openness to collegial debate through the years, for the exceptional contributions and teamwork of all my colleagues in Government, and for the guidance provided by then-PM Mr Goh Chok Tong and his team when I came into Cabinet.
My life was never predictable or assured, from the time of my youth, as a sportsman and a consummate non-scholar in school, and through the ups and downs I have had since then.
But I could not have had a more meaningful path than to spend my entire working life dedicated to serving Singaporeans and advancing our country’s interests.
Sad to retire as MP for Jurong GRC
Since running for President means having to leave his political party, Mr Tharman will effectively vacate his role as Member of Parliament (MP) for Jurong GRC.
Having been the anchor minister there for a while, he will no doubt leave a tangible hole. For the Senior Minister himself, the parting will be bittersweet. But he assures his constituents that all will be well.
My greatest sadness is in retiring as an MP on the ground, in Taman Jurong and Jurong GRC. It has been a true privilege for me to help residents day and night, helping them to overcome difficulties and fulfil their aspirations. And to build deep-rooted relationships with them and our many volunteers.
I hope these friendships continue, many of which going back decades.
To all folks in Jurong GRC: don’t worry, you will be fully supported. I am assured that my four dedicated fellow MPs in Jurong will work doubly hard to serve all our residents including in Taman Jurong, with full effort and full heart, during the current electoral term.
By the way, I shed a tear when I looked at this photo again. Little did I know when we took it a year ago that my solo wave would now be seen as a sad goodbye.
Conviction to serving Singapore will never change
Across all his professional roles, one thing remains constant — Mr Tharman’s promise to serve the people of Singapore.
While his contributions will change, this conviction will remain the same.
My role vis-à-vis the Government will change fundamentally if I am elected President.
What will never change is my conviction in the continuing Singapore story: a society where everyone has the support to uplift themselves regardless of their starting point in life, and a multiracial nation whose citizens take pride in its unique identity and feel a deepening sense of togetherness. Majulah Singapura!
Wishing him the best in the upcoming election
Although it’s still early to tell, we’re sure Mr Tharman will have his fair share of supporters.
We’re thankful for all he has contributed so far. And we’re certainly hopeful to see what else he can do for Singapore.
Do you have any thoughts about Mr Tharman’s candidacy? Share them with us in the comments.
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Featured image adapted from LabourBeat.
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