Sunday, July 3, 2011

The "People's" President

The so-called publicly-acclaimed President S.R Nathan finally announced on 1 July that he would step down when his second term runs out on August 31. Even when Dr Tony Tan announced his intention to contest the presidential election as an"independent" on 23 June, the comical President S.R Nathan was still keeping his intention close to his chest, mysteriously promising to reveal his intention in two weeks. It was obvious even to the most gullible that President S.R Nathan was bluffing to subject the public to his sense of suspense as to his re-election intention when any such intention would be put paid with the entry of Dr Tony Tan into the presidential contest. Although Dr Tony Tan's independent status is questionable, his standing in the PAP easily eclipsed that of President S.R Nathan and therefore any intention of the latter to contest against the former is out of the question. That no one, not even members of the opposition, had the heart to call S.R Nathan's bluff shows a measure of tolerance that public has for his antics.

In his statement, President S.R Nathan acknowledged both the Singaporeans who had criticised him and those who had shown him "affection and kindness". It is intriguing that a former senior minister of state and some PAP MPs called Mr. S.R Nathan a People's President in spite of the fact that he had acknowledged that Singaporeans had criticised him. It is interesting that only PAP members called him that and those intoxicated PAP members should access the internet to have a measure of the netizens' criticisms of Mr. S.R Nathan as an unpopular president. In addition the curses of the president from taxi drivers should send shivers down the spine of Mr. S.R Nathan. Taxi drivers are by nature loquacious and they do not need much encouragement to open up about the iniquities of the PAP leaders. In view of such an adverse reaction, would it not be a travesty of the noble title to call Mr. S.R Nathan a People's President? So far, only PAP members have called him that or have sung him praises.

In the history of Singapore's presidency, only two past presidents had been acknowledged by Singaporeans as People's Presidents. One was the late President Wee Kim Wee who was really adored by Singaporeans. The other was the late President Ong Teng Cheong, who was especially adored by the Chinese-educated. President Wee Kim Wee's relationship with the PAP Government was a smooth one with no hiccup. But President Ong Teng Cheong's serious tiff with the PAP Government over his request to examine the national reserves resulted in unhappy ending. The Government's vindictiveness extended to the withholding of a state funeral for the late President Ong Teng Cheong when he passed away.

President S.R Nathan has accumulated enormous wealth from the taxpayers' money. If he still has any compunction about his prodigious wealth, he should seriously consider about donating a meaningful amount to some deserving causes. The Chinese believe that this will be rewarded by heaven, especially in the afterlife.


ed said...

Firstly, Nathan is just a figurehead president. So i don't see how he can be blamed for anything as he serves as nothing but a rubber stamp and 'evidence' that singapore isn't a chinese fascist state.

Secondly, i didn't see such vehement critique when there were chinese presidents in the past. Given that singapore is a racist society, one has to wonder at the true motivation of behind yours and others' criticism of Nathan.

jackie said...

ed, it has nothing to do with race. We all know the role of Singapore president is still a figurehead. So, why pay him $4 million salary and pretend he is such a saviour in safeguarding the people's interests? Anyone, regardless of race, in that same position for the last 2 terms - ie. being a yes-man - would have been vehemently critcised too.

Gary said...

IMO it is mostly of the incumbent's own making - President Benjamin Sheares, an Eurasian, was well thought off. Even Nair, in spite of the controversy, you can see he is a man with an independent mind. Look at what LKY did to people who do not see eye to eye with him. The evil has always been from the top which it got into someone's head that because he brought Singapore to what it is today-which is a half truth anyway as he conveniently forgot all those who helped in one way or another, including the ordinary workers - he OWNS the place, that Singapore belongs to him. There is an interesting book on LKY, in fact probably the first book written on him by a FEER journalist, TJS Gorge, which was banned entitled: Lee Kuan Yew's Singapore.

LEONG said...

Lately, didn't you notice SR Nathan has been talking more like a MIW than an independent President, with the remarks about thankful to the PAP having brought us here today, etc?
I am from the majority race, and if JBJ were alive and runinng for President , I would vote him in against the 3 Tans without question.
Certainly the Presidency here is a ceremonial one but the fact he did not exercise or even tested some of his constitutional powers speak much about him - a Yes man.
Unless the PAP Govt is absolutely perfect

Soojenn said...

@ed.. just a figurehead president... isn't he supposed to be a protector of the reserves... seems he had no balls to continue to pursue he checking of the reserves, where Ong Teng Cheong left off?

I don't believe it is race... he has done almost nothing except to kiss babies, shaking dignitaries hand,... and for the PAP to call him a people's president.., what a load of crap.

Call him a "rubber stamp" president, but DEFINATELY not a people's president, which I believe the writer is trying to put this point across.

" It is interesting that only PAP members called him that and those intoxicated PAP members should access the internet to have a measure of the netizens' criticisms of Mr. S.R Nathan as an unpopular president."

Who else but memembers of the PAP will be prone to do such travestry, calling him a "people's president" - my foot.

PAP, as shown what they thin of netizens, recently by "kee Chiu" acting minister Chan Chun Sing, in his "dialogue" is labeling the netizens who have differing views as "fringe lunatics"

John said...

Nothing can be further from the truth than to describe President Nathan as the People's President. You just have to read the outpouring of negative comments to his remarks in the Today Online:

The large number of adverse comments in this usually quiet blog must be a new record of outburst amongst netizens.
The indelible fact is that President Nathan could be as good as dead during his presidency without making any difference to the people of Singapore, except that he has snatched away $4m p.a. from the poor people without any compunction. If he wants to go to heaven he should show some remorse and repay society by donating his undeserved money to some charity.

Fairplay said...

A nationwide survey should be conducted to gauge how much of a "people's president-(PP)" is Nathan.

The true PP were the late OTC and WKW. Period.

Encounters said...

Missed President Wee Kim Wee a lot. After his passing, he rest with the ordinary folks of Singapore in Mandai, according to his will.

Who is kidding who to say Nathan is People's president? What an insult to the ex-Presidents! The only lesson from his tenure in his istana is : Carrying the right balls pays you millions.