Tharman Shanmugaratnam Responds to ‘Tactical Statements’ by Fellow Candidates

Presidential candidate Tharman Shanmugaratnam has chosen not to comment on the recent “tactical statements” made by his fellow candidates regarding their spouses. Instead, he highlighted his commitment to letting the public form their own opinions. Mr. Tan Kin Lian had earlier alluded to the wives of Tharman and Ng Kok Song, emphasizing the idea of a “first lady” in the context of the presidential election.

Tharman emphasized that he prefers to let people judge for themselves and pointed out the diverse backgrounds that previous leaders have come from, such as George Goh who hailed from Malaysia. He mentioned that he respects the individual stories and backgrounds of each candidate.

During a walkabout at Amoy Street Food Centre, Tharman also expressed his intention to actively engage with the community and support various civil society initiatives. He stressed the importance of building confidence among disadvantaged groups, particularly children, by providing consistent support and engagement. Tharman highlighted the KidSTART program as a government effort to address early disadvantages but also emphasized the importance of community action in providing ongoing support.

Tharman, aged 66, was issued a police permit for an indoor election meeting at Pasir Panjang Power Station. He described the event as a town hall meeting, explaining that registration would be required due to limited space. While rallies are discouraged for the Presidential Election, candidates can hold meetings with approval from venue owners and police permits.

Tharman noted that the Pasir Panjang Power Station was chosen as a suitable location, stating, “I think it should be interesting. I didn’t want to have an open rally, so it’s by registration only.” He added that while registration was open, the limited number of attendees would ensure that only registered participants could attend the event.