Dr Tony Tan won the presidential election by a razor-edge 35.20 per cent of the votes narrowly beating Dr Tan Cheng Bok. Morally, though not stated in the Constitution, there should have been a run-off between these two candidate as neither managed to obtain an absolute majority in the first round. It would have frightened the shit out of the PAP leaders as it was obvious that their pet candidate Dr Tony Tan would not have stood an earthly chance against the more popular Dr Tan Cheng Bok in a run-off. So Dr Tony Tan managed to emerge the winner by the slimmest of margin in the first past the post system of the Westminister model. An obsequious supporter had described his victory as an overwhelming mandate which is the acme of ludricrousness.
At best Dr Tony Tan can claim to represent only 35.20 per cent of the electorate as a minority president and could hardly claim to have a mandate in the strict sense of the word.He can be said to be a lame-duck president as if a referendum is taken an overwhelming majority would have repudiated him. The PAP has happily inherited him as he is their pet candidate and so we are stuck with the comical spectacle of a minority president performing the presidential functions of the State. Of course the precarious President Tony Tan could not afford to show any queasiness in performing his official functions as this would have given the game away. Outwardly, he receives the proper respect from foreign dignitaries but whether they harbour any belittling feeling would be an interesting point as they may find it a unique experience interacting with a minority president.
Dr Tony Tan has so far not shown that he has the making of a people's president in the manner of the late President Wee Kim Wee. In fact he seems to be living under the shadow of former President SR Nathan, who was himself not an illustrious president. When asked by reporters what was his achievement in his first year as president, the joker President Tony Tan showed incredible naivety to say comically that watching the Olympic in London was his best achievement so far. Can one imagine paying a president millions of dollars a year from the taxpayers' money to watch Olympic in London and to top it all he claims this to be his best achievement in his first year in office. This is a typical example of the wanton wastage of the taxpayers' money and by a minority president. Former President SR Nathan, who was not a minority president, would have shown more prudence and commen sense than the minority President Tony Tan in matters of propriety..
With all his political experience, it would not be a surprise if President Tony Tan would make further gaffes like his political master Lee Kuan Yew. Even without his gaffes,his chances of re-election as president, if he stands again after his present term expires, would be as dark as a photographer's dark room. He would not stand an earthly chance next time when he faces a more popular candidate like Dr Tan Cheng Bok. He may see the writing on the wall and may quietly fall into oblivion.