Sunday, August 21, 2011

Singapore Presidential Election 2011: First Ladies in waiting

Your vote for Singapore's Elected President is a two-for-one offer.

This is why you have Mr President and the First Lady staring at you whenever you visit any government department.

The spouses of Presidential Election candidates must be prepared to step up to the status befitting a First Lady. This is different from being a politician's wife, who can stay safely out of reach of the paparazzi or busybody journalists.

The New Paper on Sunday, 21 August 2011, Page 4

The decision by Dr Tony Tan's camp to stay out of The New Paper's Sunday feature on the four women who could be our next First Lady is not an enlightened one.

In mature democracies, the First Lady serves a hugely important role in society and in supporting the office of the President, both in domestic and international affairs.

I am sure many of you have heard of Barbara Bush, Hillary Clinton, Laura Bush (top, meeting Singaporean children and doing the same with American students) and Michelle Obama and their role in American statecraft.

My personal favourite is Eleanor Roosevelt, whose public appearances during the Depression era brought much cheer to American workers. It is said that her visits to frontline troops in the Pacific during WW2 did the same and helped raise morale immensely.

Wives who aspire to support and strengthen their husband's PE campaign chances must realise the status of First Lady in a First World Parliament comes with duties and responsibilities that entail personal sacrifices.

Signalling that one is not ready for the role sends a wrong message to potential supporters.

The last thing I want in a First Lady is a perfect stranger who comes out of hibernation during Istana open houses for that grip-and-grin photo opportunity, only to slink away into the corridors of power when no longer needed.

You must project self-confidence and a readiness to stand by and serve Singaporeans in good times and especially in bad times. How would Singaporeans know you are willing and able to do so if they do not know you better?

With campaigning for the Presidential Election at the halfway mark, the TT camp must quickly reappraise its campaign strategy to reassure Singaporeans that their First Lady aspirant is ready for the job.

The ground is not sweet and Dr Tan will need every vote he can get.


Anonymous said...

Very insightful post about an issue that most people do not contemplate.

Vinz said...

Not sure if Dr Tan Cheng Bock followed this blog, but in his rally speech last night, he mentioned in his closing speech about the work of his wife.

David Boey said...

Just wrote something timed for release at 8pm tonight. Thanks all.

Anonymous said...

Voting for the opposition is dangerous in a GE, since your ward could become a slum. Voting for a non-PAP candidate in the PE carries no such risk.
So what does the voting pattern in this PE reveal?