Election surprises and certainties: Dissecting Tharman’s presidential win

In the 2023 Presidential Election, Mr. Tharman Shanmugaratnam secured a stunning 70.4% landslide victory, surprising many, including himself.

Despite expectations that TKL would win the opposition votes, voters from both camps showed a preference for Tharman’s charisma and perceived competency.

As Singapore reflects on the outcome, questions arise about the election’s fairness and the real implications of Tharman’s dominant win.

Singapore’s High Commissioner refutes The Economist’s allegations of CPIB’s lack of independence, but without a POFMA direction

In a diplomatic counter, Singapore’s High Commissioner to the UK, Mr Lim Thuan Kuan, has refuted allegations made by The Economist, questioning the CPIB’s independence. In defence of Singapore’s anti-corruption mechanisms, he cited constitutional safeguards and a commitment to thorough investigations.

Intriguingly, Singapore’s government chose this diplomatic route, rather than issuing a POFMA directive – a law previously used to counter foreign ‘falsehoods’ – as it has done in similar past instances.

Desmond Lee’s attack on Lee Hsien Yang: The irony of PAP’s selective outrage

Opinion: Minister for National Development Desmond Lee’s recent fervent personal attack on Lee Hsien Yang highlights a glaring irony – the PAP’s selective outrage. As serious misconduct within their own ranks is met with silence, the party’s integrity is being questioned, throwing a harsh light on the double standards in their crisis management.

“While Desmond Lee vehemently defends the government’s backing of the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau’s investigation into potential corruption within its ranks, there appears to be a contrasting silence or lack of definitive action surrounding the case of Christopher de Souza, a fellow PAP member and Deputy Speaker of Parliament…

…Similarly, the decision to retain Tan Chuan-Jin as Speaker of Parliament amidst the controversy of an extramarital affair, which the PAP has known about since at least 2020, highlights a troubling pattern within the PAP: a selective and biased response to allegations of misconduct based on party affiliation.”

A call for equitable accountability: Should a Committee of Privileges investigate PAP’s Tan Chuan-Jin scandal?

Opinion: Recent scandals within Singapore’s political landscape underline the need for equal accountability across parties – urging the question: should a Committee of Privileges probe into the Tan Chuan-Jin scandal as rigorously as it did the Workers’ Party’s Raeesah Khan case?

PM Lee’s troubling decision: The reappointment and maintenance of Tan Chuan-Jin as Speaker despite knowledge of his affair

Opinion: The recent resignation of Speaker Tan Chuan-Jin, after revelations of an extra-marital affair, has forced Singapore into a state of political introspection.

More critically, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s decision to reappoint and maintain Mr Tan in a position of authority, despite knowledge of the affair, has profound implications for Singapore’s political landscape.

Could there be instances where individuals are appointed to positions of authority, despite knowledge of their personal indiscretions, potentially subjecting them to undue influence?

Why did the Ministers get their wives to sign the tenancy agreements for Ridout Road properties?

Opinion: Despite clearing Ministers K Shanmugam and Vivian Balakrishnan of corruption, questions remain: Why were their wives, who seemingly do not meet the necessary financial criteria, permitted to rent state properties at Ridout Road?

According to the Singapore Land Authority (SLA) bidding form, an individual bidder should have an average monthly income at least three times the bid rent. In this instance, Mrs Shanmugam and Mrs Balakrishnan would need to earn $79,500 and $57,000 per month, respectively, to qualify as bidders under these criteria.

However, while it appears that both wives fall short of these income requirements, their husbands would meet the criteria. This discrepancy prompts the question: Why did the wives sign the tenancy agreements, and why didn’t the SLA ask the Ministers to be the ones officially listed as the bidders?