Presidential Elections – First Impressions

I know… this is probably a bit late for a “First Impressions” post, given that the elections is… *gasp* tomorrow.

But I have an excuse – I’m Singaporean. I was politically apathetic till 2011 and I like to cram for my exams.

Back to the elections.

There are many things to think about when we want to choose someone to be the next President of Singapore. It is an important decision as this person represents the heart and soul of the nation. He is the embodiment of the Singapore Spirit. Previously, we were lazy, self satisfied, politically apathetic, and some might even say politically naive. Some might say that this is a juvenile dig at the incumbent President who was supposed to be the embodiment of the Singapore Spirit, but I say, this might or might not be true.

It had been said that the role of the President is symbolic (their words, not mine), I decided to base my impressions of the Presidential Candidates on precisely that – Symbols. No, seriously, I mean it. Literally, symbols. Or the symbols they have chosen to represent themselves. It saves reading multiple news reports to make an informed decision. Below are the symbols of the Presidential candidates released by CNA.

First Impressions, based on my entirely biased and personal opinions:

– The symbol that first caught my eye was definitely the Heart shape. It is so simple, and yet could mean so many things to a 16 year old girl. It makes me think that the candidate’s campaign manager is either a 16 year old girl, or someone who played one too many rounds of poker at the Integrated Resorts.

– The spectacles. Seeing that all the candidate wear specs, it is hard to decide who they are supposed to represent. And, I don’t know about everybody else, but isn’t spectacles supposed to be for short sighted people? Not very sure that is a quality I want in my President.

– The Palm tree… errrr… wrong country?

– And my ULTIMATE favorite – the only symbol that shows that the Presidential Election is about more than just the Presidential Elect. It is a public discourse represented by the speech bubble and the candidate’s attitude towards this discourse –  “Talk to the Hand”

Before I get thrown into jail, mysteriously disappear, get sued till I am bankrupt, for journalistic fairness, the REAL explanations for the symbols, courtesy of CNA.

SINGAPORE: The four presidential candidates have unveiled their election symbols, which will be printed on the ballot paper.

This time round, the ballot paper will also include a black—and—white photograph of the candidates, along with the symbols.

Dr Tan Cheng Bock’s symbol is a palm tree. “The leaves of the palm represents our multiracial society, the trunk represents them coming together, and the roots represents us taking root in Singapore,” he said on his Facebook.

Mr Tan Jee Say’s symbol is a heart. It stands for conscience and empathy, he said.

Dr Tony Tan’s symbol is a pair of glasses which resembles the trademark spectacles he wears.

“No one ever ruined his or her eyesight by taking a long term view,” he said on his Facebook.

Mr Tan Kin Lian’s symbol is known as “Hi—5”. He said the raised hand signifies willingness to do public service, while the five fingers signify his values of honesty, fairness, positive attitude, courage and public service.


2 thoughts on “Presidential Elections – First Impressions

  1. The first time i saw these symbols, i went @_@ at how juvenile they appeared, despite the many apparent wonderful meanings behind each one.

    A certain Mr. Tan should record a music video to the famous kid’s band, while another Mr. Tan will not have my vote simply because his symbol is the same as my previous company which absolutely sucked… well actually more cos he hasn’t managed to convince me much with his promises so far (I tend to exaggerate)

    I’m with you on the myopia, though of course some may argue that glasses can be to correct long-sightedness, or just for stylistic purposes. But in any case, it’s screams either poor vision or poseur. Period.

    That said, tomorrow should be fun. Hopefully nobody requests for a recount so none of us will have to “TAN gu gu” for our new president.

    • Yeah… I’m hoping we don’t get a 混Tan or a 笨Tan for President… But the worst will be to get another Na Tan

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