Former Indian-origin minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam launched his presidential campaign, vowing to evolve Singapore's culture to maintain its global prominence. He emphasized the need to prevent societal divisions and expressed his commitment to be a unifying figure if elected. Tharman highlighted his experience in unifying people during his 22 years in politics and his capability to handle presidential responsibilities, including safeguarding reserves. He also stressed his integrity and independence of mind, which would remain unchanged. Tharman's background includes roles as Minister for Education, Finance, and Deputy Prime Minister, as well as positions in international organizations.
The upcoming 2023 presidential election is scheduled for September, as President Halimah Yacob's six-year term concludes. Two other potential candidates, businessman George Goh and investment manager Ng Kok Song, have also announced their intention to run. Singapore's Constitution outlines requirements for public-sector and private-sector candidates.
The 2017 presidential election was a reserved one, limited to members of the Malay community, with Halimah becoming Singapore's first female president. Her current term ends on September 13 this year.
The PIO community in Singapore is extremely enthusiastic about the news of Tharman Shanmugaratnam's bid for the top post.