Lightning never strikes twice? For Dr Tan Cheng Bock, it could even be thrice

Dr Tan Cheng Bock has been compared with Dr Mahathir Mohamad. But the one he more closely resembles – in spirit and in destiny – is Anwar Ibrahim.

Anwar has come so near yet so far many times. His highest political aspirations have been cruelly foiled time and again through injustice and betrayal.

Dr Tan came to within a whisker of winning the presidency in 2011, losing by only 0.34% of the votes to Tony Tan. Had the two other Tans not contested, he would most certainly have won. A heartbreaking defeat that should never have been.

After six long years, Dr Tan was widely seen as a favourite to capture the presidency in 2017. But changes were made to reserve the elected presidency for Malays only. And just like that, his presidential aspirations turned into ashes. Dr Tan contested the legitimacy of the changes – but unsuccessfully. He went from favourite to non-starter in the election.

Undaunted, Dr Tan formed the Progress Singapore Party. He has been raring for a go at the general election, aiming to lead a GRC team to victory. Then the COVID-19 pandemic struck. Sensing opportunity, the People’s Action Party has signalled that it could call an election even amidst the pandemic.

Will a pandemic general election kill off Dr Tan’s chances of victory and deny him a third time?

There are those who say it’s not a done deal – we don’t really know which way Singaporeans will vote in a crisis. For a clue, just look at what’s happening in the United States. President Donald Trump and his administration are widely seen as inept and have badly mismanaged the COVID-19 outbreak. Still, latest polling shows that Trump’s approval ratings have gone up. Americans are like people anywhere else – in times of crisis, they choose to rally round their leaders. Very few want to rock the boat amid a crisis and the opposition risks becoming irrelevant.

Dr Tan has been making spirited and cogent arguments against a pandemic general election. He has rightly warned of the dangers of exposing more than 2.6 million voters to a health crisis. But his proposal for a caretaker government has been dismissed by Senior Minister Teo Chee Hean, who called it unconstitutional, misleading and unhelpful. Doesn’t that tell us which way the wind is blowing?

Still, it is the people who have the ultimate say. Pandemic election or not, can Singaporeans find it in themselves to stop the lightning bolt from striking Dr Tan a third time?

 

Augustine Low

* The author is a proud but concerned citizen. Voicing independent, unplugged opinion is his contribution to citizen engagement.

 

 

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5 Responses to “Lightning never strikes twice? For Dr Tan Cheng Bock, it could even be thrice”

  • Who cares about Mr Tan?:

    Singaporeans should take care of themselves.

    This means,

    VTO. VTO. VTO.

    There is no need to check the candidates. Tan, Ali, Lim, whatever.

    On the other hand, if Singaporeans don’t know how to take care of themselves, let them continue to be fleeced for another 50 years.

    Seriously, many Singaporeans are “penny wise and pound foolish.” They are estatic that they get a few hundred or a few thousand dollar handout from this gov, and totally blind to the million dollar that they lose to this gov.

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  • never voted pap:

    too much analysis.

    just vote anything anyone as long as not from pap.

    anything is a good thing, anyone is a good one, as long as not from pap.

    no need to analyze at all. as long as OPPO, good. as long as pap, bad. never vote bad, meaning, never vote pap. always vote good, meaning, vote OPPO.

    stop wasting time analyzing. just vote OPPO.

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  • opposition dude:

    I think that Dr Tan might be a bit overambitious in challenging for so many GRCs in the first place. I hope that he adjusts his expectations after the horse trading done with the other opposition parties. If he truly thinks he has got good support in West Coast GRC then go for it and we will see just exactly what kind of support he gets in terms of votes.

    He is the only well known person in his party so if they didn’t win any other seats besides West Coast it would not surprise me. How voters will vote in this pandemic remains to be seen though, we love using past crises to show that PAP won.

    So since the election is imminent there is nothing we can do. Just go vote and see how the results turn up. We can then be political analysts contributing as to why PAP won big/lost big.

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  • pap S$m thieves:

    opposition dude:
    I think that Dr Tan might be a bit overambitious in challenging for so many GRCs in the first place. I hope that he adjusts his expectations after the horse trading done with the other opposition parties. If he truly thinks he has got good support in West Coast GRC then go for it and we will see just exactly what kind of support he gets in terms of votes.

    He is the only well known person in his party so if they didn’t win any other seats besides West Coast it would not surprise me. How voters will vote in this pandemic remains to be seen though, we love using past crises to show that PAP won.

    So since the election is imminent there is nothing we can do. Just go vote and see how the results turn up. We can then be political analysts contributing as to why PAP won big/lost big.

    don’t fight GE to enter parleement.

    fight GE to topple pap and form New Government and rename parleement back to parliament.

    it can be done, even if it is for one season only.

    one season is good enough to indict pap clown and pap clown wife and their S$m gang of thieves and rewrite history of Singapore from current lies to truth which is hidden under current pap regime for the sake of covering up pap lky wrongs such as Operation Cold Storage.

    One Season is Good Enough to Indict pap folks. One Season. Then truly die without regrets since true justice runs, one season.

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  • REGIME CHANGE is the solution:

    If he loses bid to be MP again he can run for EP again unless he is “fixed” him again by rule changes.

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