Singapore Indian business community congratulates President-elect Tharman

Singapore: The Singapore Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Saturday congratulated Tharman Shanmugaratnam on his victory in the presidential election and said the community has benefitted much from his good counsel.

“We look forward to our continued engagement with you as you assume the land’s highest office, the Presidency of Singapore,” Singapore Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry chairman Neil Parekh said.

“May I also take this opportunity to thank you in advance for accepting our invitation to be the guest of honour for the chamber’s centenary celebrations in 2024…. Along with my Board of Directors at the Singapore Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry I take great pride and joy in congratulating you on your election as the ninth President of the Republic of Singapore,” he wrote.

Parekh, a nominated member of parliament, described Tharman’s election as a historic occasion and said Singapore’s Indian business community has benefitted much from his good counsel during regular dialogue sessions in his previous capacities in the Ministry of Finance, Manpower and as deputy prime minister and senior minister.

Tharman scored a landslide victory in the presidential election held on Friday.

The 66-year-old Singaporean of Indian origin economist will be Singapore’s ninth president. He won the election with a vote share of 70.4 per cent.

He has pledged to use his presidency to help build a future of optimism and solidarity among all Singaporeans.

Making his first remarks to the media after early indications that he had won the election by a landslide, Tharman said his win was a vote of confidence in Singapore’s future.

While Chinese origin Ng Kok Song and Tan Kin Lian garnered 15.72 per cent and 13.88 per cent of the about 2.5 million votes cast on Friday in an economically prosperous city state.

Tharman is the first non-Chinese presidential candidate to win a contested election in a predominantly Chinese city state.

Associate Professor Eugene Tan from Singapore Management University (SMU) called the presidential election sample count result that came in after couple of hours before the final count as “mind-boggling”, with Tharman’s total vote share beating the combined total of votes for Tan and Ng.

Dr Felix Tan, a political analyst from the Nanyang Technological University (NTU), also expressed his surprise at both the sample count result and the final result.

“I think there were many people who were hopeful that Tharman would win, but winning by this huge margin…I think it’s rather unexpected and it’s quite a surprise. A pleasant surprise for some,” Channel News Asia quoted Dr Tan as saying. 

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