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NTUC congratulates Tharman Shanmugaratnam for being elected Singapore’s ninth President

NTUC said it is confident that Mr Tharman’s presidency will bring Singaporeans together in unity and enhance the country’s reputation on the international stage.

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NTUC has extended its congratulations to Tharman Shanmugaratnam for being elected the ninth President of Singapore.

NTUC sent its congratulatory statement signed by NTUC President Mary Liew and Secretary-General Ng Chee Meng following the results of the Presidential Election just past midnight on 2 September 2023.

The election saw Mr Tharman garner 70.4 per cent of votes out of 2.7 million eligible voters.

Former GIC Chief Investment Officer Ng Kok Song and former NTUC Income CEO Tan Kin Lian garnered 15.72 per cent and 13.88 per cent of votes, respectively.

Mr Tharman had been a tremendous supporter of the Labour Movement and had been championing better wages, welfare and work prospects for workers, particularly the vulnerable, said NTUC.

NTUC added: “With his excellent track record and genuine care for our workers and all Singaporeans, Brother Tharman is truly deserving of being our Head of State.

“NTUC is confident that Brother Tharman’s presidency will further bring Singaporeans together in unity, enhance Singapore’s reputation on the international stage, and guide our nation and people towards a brighter future.”  

Mr Tharman has chaired the Ong Teng Cheong Labour Leadership Institute board of governors for over 20 years.

Speaking to the media, Mr Tharman said he was humbled by the strong endorsement by Singaporeans. 

“I believe that the vote for me and what I stand for is a vote of confidence in Singapore ... It's a vote of optimism for a future in which we can progress together and support each other as Singaporeans.

"And it has to be a future where we deepen our solidarity as Singaporeans, regardless of our differences, regardless of our backgrounds," he added.

The president-elect will be sworn in by 14 September 2023.

Read more about Mr Tharman’s contributions to the Labour Movement here.

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Care for all Singaporeans and workers

Following the announcement of the results, NTUC President Mary Liew said that she is very heartened by Singaporeans’ overwhelming support for Mr Tharman. 

Ms Liew was one of Mr Tharman’s assenters in his presidential campaign.

Other assenters included 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.

NTUC Secretary-General Ng Chee Meng said that Mr Tharman has put workers’ interests at heart and championed for better wages, welfare and work prospects for them through various government and tripartite initiatives.

He added: "Our Labour Movement certainly looks forward to engaging with him more so that he can lend support to our efforts in helping our workers, especially the more vulnerable ones."

This year’s presidential election was Singapore’s first in 12 years. The last presidential election in 2017, which was reserved for Malay candidates, went uncontested.

Madam Halimah Yacob was the only eligible candidate, and she was sworn in the day after Nomination Day on 13 September 2017.