NTUC President Mary Liew among 8 assenters for Tharman Shanmugaratnam’s Singapore presidential candidacy

The presidential hopeful also launched his campaign and announced his team of nominators.

By Shukry Rashid 26 Jul 2023

NTUC President Mary Liew will be one of the eight assenters for Tharman Shanmugaratnam’s Singapore presidential candidacy.

Other assenters include former GIC Group President Lim Siong Guan, NUS Professor in Practice Veera Sekaran, Former Pertapis Executive Director Kamsinah Sadar, and ex-inmate and Beacon of Life Co-founder Kim Whye Kee.

The official backers were unveiled at a media conference at York Hotel on 26 July 2023.

Ms Liew said that Mr Tharman is an inspiring leader who works hard for the people.

She added: “All of us need to come together and recognise that we need a president that has a tremendous heart, a compassionate heart … [someone who] can help us through challenging and difficult times and bring people together, unifying them.”

Singapore Federation of Chinese Clan Associations President and Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry Thomas Chua will be the proposer. Nanyang Technological University Head of Studies in Inter-Religious Relations and ambassador to Algeria Mohammad Alami Musa will be the seconder.

Respect for all

Mr Tharman also unveiled his election campaign at the conference. His election campaign slogan is “Respect for All”.

Mr Tharman said that he decided to run as it is not just for himself but for the future of Singapore.

“I believe in the need to evolve Singapore’s culture, our norms and the way we go about working with each other so that we can retain a shining spot in the world,” he explained.

Presidential candidacy

The former senior minister and coordinating minister for social policies announced his decision on 8 June 2023 to contest in the upcoming presidential election.

On the same day, Mr Tharman also announced his retirement from politics and all government positions.

He resigned from the People’s Action Party and government positions on 7 July 2023.

Mr Tharman has a longstanding relationship with the Labour Movement.

He has been the chairman of the Ong Teng Cheong Labour Leadership Institute (OTCi) Board of Governors since 2002.

He had also served as an advisor to the Singapore Industrial and Services Employees’ Union and the Chemical Industries Employees’ Union.

Mr Tharman played several roles in advancing tripartism by chairing key councils such as the National Productivity Council, SkillsFuture Council, and the Council for Skills, Innovation and Productivity.