On April 17th, I thanked Lee Kuan Yew for standing down. My thanks were really for him to completely step down from politics and to bask in the after glow of a life lived well, and a life of dedication to Singapore.
Alas, that was not to be. He did contest – not really, it was a lame walkover in the Tanjong Pagar GRC – and yesterday, he and Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong announced that they are not going to continue in the Singapore Cabinet. They are giving reasons such as “to give the Prime Minister and his team the room to break from the past, and we want to make it clear that the PAP has never been averse to change.” Thanks. But I think if they really meant what they are saying, they should have done it BEFORE the elections. Yes, they are both politicians and will not reveal what they are thinking, but like change, sometimes it take a while.
So, now that both GCT and LKY are no longer in the Cabinet, it is no longer PG-rated.
I am sure that there will now be calls for LKY or GCT to perhaps run for the President’s post. That would be interesting. It would mean that they’ll have to a) resign from the PAP and b) give up their seat in parliament.
If either one of them decide to run, that would mean by-elections in either Marine Parade or Tanjong Pagar GRCs. That’ll be a good thing.
A by-election in Tanjong Pagar would give the voters in that GRC an opportunity to vote after over 20 years of being denied the right. We can then hopefully get to hear the former chief of army who essentially walked into parliament without being tested and also hear from the last-minute PAP politician who got a seat without any effort on his part.
If GCT decides to run, then the people of Marine Parade GRC can correct their mistake of having had to vote in GCT (and his coattail-cling-on Ms Tin “Kate Spade” Pei Ling).
Either scenario, it can only be good for Singapore.
Let’s look at the next big event in Singapore – the Presidential Elections. We could see the following possible candidates:
- Tan Kin Lian – former CEO of NTUC Income
- Lee Kuan Yew
- S Jayakumar
- Goh Chok Tong
- George Yeo
- Abdullah Tarmugi
- Zainal Abidin Rasheed
- S Dhanabalan