Looking at our current president Dr Tony Tan Keng Yam, I personally find it
rather difficult for to recall the things he has done for Singapore. In fact,
he has very little face time and speech time in the mass media, compared to a
certain person from a certain political party, whose face won’t stop
During 2011 Presidential Elections, 4 Mr Tans were candidates. Each of these
4 Mr Tans had notable accomplishments, and had contributed to the society in
some way. But let’s be honest, most of their deeds and accomplishments
weren’t as widely publicised as some other politicians. To many of the
voters, it’s just a Mr Tan, and another Mr Tan.
Mr Tan Who?
At the Presidential Elections, all 4 candidates pledge to be independent of
the ruling party’s influence. Can that really be possible? Can we really
At the Elections, Dr Tony Tan Keng Yam won the highest number of votes,
whereas Mr Tan Kin Lian had the lowest number, an abysmally low number to say
the least. This was despite the ex-ceo of NTUC having a notable number of
achievements under his name.
So the question. Why did so many people voted for Dr Tony Tan, if they have
never even heard of these candidates before the Presidential Elections?
I have a theory. Singaporean voters didn’t really know the difference of
one Tan, to another Tan. So, they did the most logical choice: they voted for
the person with the highest education level. A Doctorate.
And can you blame the voters? We are Singaporeans, it’s what we do. We look
at education level. It’s what Human Resources calculate. It’s what
parents value. It’s what student aspire. Our entire society was based on
measuring the worth of a person by his paper qualifications.
Let’s be honest with ourselves. Let’s assume you have never heard of the
candidates. Who would you pick to be your President? The guy with the
doctorate? Or the guy who was forced to quit school and never graduated?