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Singapore elects Tony Tan as president

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Singapore's Former Deputy Prime Minister Tony Tan won the presidential election on Saturday, the returning officer announced early Sunday morning. He will be sworn in office on Sept. 1 for a six-year term.

The president in Singapore is the ceremonial head of state with certain custodial and veto powers.

Tan, 71, has had support from senior government officials, union organizations as well as trade associations.

His trademark features include the thick square-rimmed spectacles, which appeared on his campaign baseball hat as a logo, and the silver swept-back hair.

Tony Tan started his career as a lecturer at the National University of Singapore and later joined the OCBC bank, where rose to the rank of general manager before leaving the bank to join politics in 1979. He headed different ministries such as education, trade and industry, and finance. Singapore's Founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew reportedly considered him as the first choice to succeed him as prime minister.

He left the cabinet in 1991 to return to OCBC Bank as chairman and chief executive officer.

He returned to the cabinet to be deputy prime minister in 1995 until his second retirement from the cabinet in 2005. He was most recently the deputy chairman and executive director of sovereign wealth fund the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation (GIC).

In his campaign, Tan said he could help Singapore weather the next financial and economic crisis.

"Our president has access to the prime minister and the cabinet ministers. Our president has access to all cabinet ministers. So a wise, experienced and steady president will be able to make a contribution to help Singapore get through the next financial and economic crisis," he said.

Tan had asked voters to think who would best represent Singapore, at home and abroad, and who would have the right temperament, character and courage to remain calm at times of turbulence. (PNA/Xinhua)




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