Politicians pay tribute to President Nathan: all a show

No one is begging President Nathan to stand for a third term, truth be told.

As expected, the government mouthpiece, The Straits Times, has been filling its pages singing the praises of the quiet presidency of SR Nathan which spanned 12 long years.

Now government ministers are queuing up to offer their gratitude and extol President Nathan for his achievements.

All this  theatre  is being orchestrated in the face of widespread cynicism  of the quiet President. 

In his 12 years as President, did he show any moral and intellectual courage in opposing or questioning any bill or appointment of office holders?

Did he fight to commute any death sentence in drug-related cases?

How many clemencies did he approve?

Did he press the government to reveal the true extent of our reserves and whether these are properly audited?

When billions were lost in unwise investments overseas did he ask for accountability?

No doubt his hands were tied, but a president with the moral and intellectual courage would have asked these questions. 

That’s if he is really the people’s President and NOT the ruling  People’s Action Party’s President, a repressive party which has ruled Singapore with an iron fist for more than 40 unbroken years. 

So little surprise then that the President is widely regarded as a rubber-stamp and puppet of the ruling party.

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5 Responses to “Politicians pay tribute to President Nathan: all a show”

  1. Will our politicians of the Ruling Party create a President Mentor or President Emeritus position to ease his passage?

    • Haha, good one. However, since his term is up anyway that prospect seems unlikely IMHO.

  2. He’s a good President because unlike Ong Teng Cheong, he never questioned the PAP government but faithfully toed the line. The real role of the President is to check on the opposition if/when they form a government, it is not to check on the PAP. That’s what Ong Teng Cheong did wrong and Nathan did right. That’s why he is a “good” President. He did what he was selected to do. Now that GE2011 revealed that understanding the ground is of utmost importance, his success is now couched in those terms, ie. ability to relate to the little guy. Oh, and never mind, if he gets paid more than the PM for a role that the PAP is now busily reminding the public that has only minimal scope.

  3. […] of a Cynical Investor: The presidential election & the Opposition – SpotlightOnSingapore: Politicians pay tribute to President Nathan: all a show – My Singapore News: A few simple questions for the presidential candidates – The Rot Within: More […]

  4. […] of a Cynical Investor: The presidential election & the Opposition – SpotlightOnSingapore: Politicians pay tribute to President Nathan: all a show – My Singapore News: A few simple questions for the presidential candidates – The Rot Within: More […]


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