Senior Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, known for his “voice of reason”, has recently announced his decision to run for the Presidential election in Singapore. His aim is not only to project Singapore’s rationality on the global stage but also to serve as a unifying figure domestically, leveraging his unique independence. Although he previously denied aspirations of becoming Prime Minister, Tharman now seeks to utilize his influence in this new capacity.
Describing his approach to leadership as a protective role rather than an aggressive one, he views himself as a guardian and strategist. He likens it to his preference for defensive positions in high-level field games, underlining his focus on protecting the collective and strategically directing the game.
Tharman decided to run for the office of the President, acknowledging its integral role in Singapore’s system of governance and its symbolic unity to Singaporeans. He highlighted the President’s pivotal role in maintaining stability and providing checks on the system.
In spite of his comfort in policy-making, Tharman acknowledges the difficulty of his decision. However, he emphasizes that the office of the President isn’t just a political position, but one that stands above politics.
Addressing potential concerns of racial bias, Tharman affirms that race hasn’t been an issue in his political career. He believes that Singaporeans are changing and race will become less significant in political matters in the future.
His decision came after months of contemplation, further urged by President Halimah Yacob’s announcement not to seek re-election. Tharman sees Singapore’s potential to thrive amidst upcoming challenges and commits to leveraging his background and experience for the nation’s benefit.
He ultimately offers himself for election, hoping to utilize his experience in economics, finance, international affairs, and his international standing to serve Singaporeans. Tharman will retire from politics and step down from all his positions in Government on July 7.
This news is based on a report by Malay Mail.