Former presidential candidate Dr Tan Cheng Bock has pledged to remain active in public life even if he cannot run for the Elected Presidency (EP), in his first public comments since he was effectively disqualified from the 2017 race.
“I think you will hear a lot from me. Because you love this place, and you want to do what is best for the country, in whatever position you take,” said Tan, 76, who was the guest of honour at a community event on Saturday (12 November) where he spoke briefly to reporters.
“Of course, you like to be at that position because I want to see certain changes. But if I can’t get that, if I cannot be, life still goes on. So just watch for all my programmes.”
Tan added that he would give a “proper account” of his thoughts on the changes to the EP in due course.
The former Ayer Rajah Member of Parliament was attending a community event organised by Free Food for All, which mobilised more than 250 volunteers to prepare and distribute 5,000 biryani meals to the poor and needy all over Singapore.
On Tuesday (8 November), Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong told Parliament that the next Presidential Election, which is due in 2017, will be reserved for Malay candidates. The next day, the House passed a Bill to amend the Constitution to enshrine the move.
The move came following a review of the EP by the Constitutional Commission, which proposed a series of changes to the institution.
Tan, who lost the 2011 Presidential Election by just 7,382 votes, declared his intention to run for office again in March. He told Yahoo Singapore in an interview in June that he aimed to be a unifying figure for the country.
Asked by Yahoo Singapore if he felt let down by the latest developments, Tan said, “Disappointed, we’ll all be disappointed because what you want to do, you cannot do. But don’t let that be a dampener in your life. Life must go on, and I think very likely, I will do many other things.”