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陈庆炎如果输了会怎样?

24/08/11

作者/来源:Seah Chiang Nee (20-8-2011) http://www.littlespeck.com
新加坡文献馆译

当前副总理陈庆炎在两个月前宣布有意竞选总统,好多感到惊讶的国民都认为他有很高的胜算。

他们相信这位人民行动党的一代财政强人,在1990年几乎从李光耀手上接手总理职位,将会轻易的胜出。

我的很多朋友,包括一些忠实的反对党支持者,都认为他的胜出机会很高。

‘他是他那一行业里的佼佼者’一名已退休的行政人员说‘以他的声望和经验,他比别人更优越,是精英中的精英’。

他有着强大的吸引力这一实事,反映在雅虎的一项六月份线上调查的结果,当时他刚对外宣布了他的竞选意愿。

在12650名的调查人士中,有6013人或48%表示将会投票支持。

但是,两个月之后,支持率下降到21%,因为强有力的竞争者开始出现,并且在社交网上展开攻势。

到了八月,当竞争者的名单已经落实,陈博士的排名已降到第3位,取得21%,既15661张支持票。

雅虎用户的喜好调查
六月 (候选人名单未定)
陈庆炎 6,013 (48%)
陈钦亮 2,270 (18%)
陈清木 1,987 (16%)
那丹 2,382 (19%)

八月 (候选人名单已定)
陈清木 (31,215) 41%
陈如斯 (22,947) 30%
陈庆炎 (15,616) 21%
陈钦亮 (4,575) 6%

最大的冲击是反PAP浪潮自5月的大选以来历久不懈,这会打乱这位温和的前财政部长的选情。

近日,他退出人民行动党,可是,民众还是把他和人民行动党的政策和党联系起来。

(李光耀曾经说过,他要陈博士继承他的总理职位,不过,其他年青的部长们都一致的选择了吴作栋)

在目前的政治氛围中,李光耀的赞扬或许会为参选者带来麻烦。

不过,人民行动党的支持者认为网上调查不是完整的,因为其中不包括非英文源流人士,和不使用网络的人们。

此外,反PAP的选票是由3人瓜分的情况下,会让71岁的陈博士获胜。

‘我认为他或许会得到少过50%的选票’一个政党的基层领袖这样说。

这个将在下星期六举行的总统选举原本是应该跨越政党派别,可是由此激发的情绪是相当的强烈,所以要使到选举不受政党政治的影响,那是件不可能的事。

竞选气氛走向白日化,人群喧闹和喝彩倒。许多新加坡人把这次活动看成是5月大选的延伸,当时人民行动党倍受打击。

一位职工会前领袖和人民行动党前主席认为在目前的状况下,人民会选择一位和PAP没有什么关系的人出任总统。

‘我的感觉是人们会选择一位具备能够团结新加坡人的形象,而他也和PAP没有关联的人土,’他如是说。

陈庆炎博士所面对的强大挑战是来自前反对党人士,56岁的陈如斯,他曾经是吴作栋的首席私人秘书。过后,他加入了私营企业,出任区域投资公司AIB Govett(亚洲)的董事总经理。

另外两位候选人是71岁的陈清木,他是一名医生,也是人民行动党的前国会认员,和陈钦亮,职总保险的前执行人员。

下星期的投票对人民行动党而言,是非常的重要。

这将反映李显龙总理的改革是否减少了人民的抱怨 – 削减内阁的薪金,外来专业人士,以及增加组屋供应和大学学位 – 是否解决了问题。

如果陈博士的得票率远低于60%,这表示有了更多的不满。对2016年的大选而言,这将会是场灾难。

如果他输了 – 有很大的可能性 – 这将表示是强大的人民行动党的第一场败战。

著名的博客‘redbean’说,陈博士的失败将会是‘一个最清楚的改变讯号,推动人民行动党风帆的力度已经减弱。’

竞选启动了有关总统的角色和权力的大辩论。

新加坡人民要知道为什么一个只是执行礼仪的总统,需要支付令人晕眩的高达每年400万元的薪金。

改为民选总统是1991年修改宪法后的事,让总统有了一些新的权力 – 比如可以否定政府中的一些主要职务人选,和政府动用国家的历届累积储备。

那是李光耀的意见,要保护国家的储备防止别人在他离开后花掉。

在他卸下总理职位的一年后,这新机制开始生效。

这计划下,总统拥有开启国家库房的第二支钥匙。

但是,李光耀和他的继承人并没有预料到,会有一位坚决的总统真的要去执行他的职责。

1999年当时的王鼎昌总统对外表示,他在执行总统职权去保护国家储备时,却遇到许许多多的问题。

他说政府并设有向他交出新加坡国库的资产清单。

当他向政府索取时,会计署总长回复他,这需要长达56个百万人年的时间去完成。

‘让总统得到监督政府的权力,或许是可以行得通 – 但是,他必须是一个亲人民行动党的人士’一名博客说。

‘如果是PAP批评者,更糟的是,来自反对党人士获胜,而他决心提出挑战,将会带来什么样的局面?’

这也许会导致在将来的另一回宪法修正,重新改写总统的权力。

原文:

Tony Tan What if he loses?

http://www.littlespeck.com/content/politics/CTrendsPolitics-110820.htm

A darling of the elites, his apple-cart may be overturned by lingering anti-PAP feelings – with important consequences for Singapore. By Seah Chiang Nee. Aug 20, 2011

(Synopsis: A strong late surge by Tan Jee Say and Tan Cheng Bock spells trouble for the ruling People’s Action Party.)

WHEN Dr Tony Tan Keng Yam, former Deputy Prime Minister, announced his intention to run for President two months ago, his prospect of winning ranked high among surprised citizens.

Most believed that the one-time People’s Action Party (PAP) financial strongman, who nearly succeeded Lee Kuan Yew as Prime Minister in 1990, would win hands down.

Many of my friends, including staunch opposition supporters, were among those who thought his chances of winning would be high.

“In his profession, he’s blue chip stuff,” said one retired executive. “With his reputation and experience, he towers over others, a darling of the elites.”

That he had a strong base appeared to be reflected in a Yahoo online poll in June when he first made clear his intention to run.

Some 6,013 – or 48% of 12,650 users – said they would vote for him.

Two months later, however, the proportion of support fell to 21% as strong rivals joined the race and revved up the offensive in the social media.

By August, (the final list of candidates) Dr Tan had fallen behind to third place, securing 21% or 15,661.

Yahoo users’ preference polls
June (incomplete list)
Tony Tan 6,013 (48%)
Tan Kin Lian 2,270 (18%)
Tan Cheng Bock 1,987 (16%)
Incumbent SR Nathan (before he pulled out) 2,382 (19%)

August (the final list of candidates)
Dr Tan Cheng Bock (31,215) 41%
Tan Jee Say (22,947) 30%
Dr Tony Tan (15,616) 21%
Tan Kin Lian (4,575) 6%

But most damaging may be the strong anti-PAP sentiment carried over from the general election in May. It may upset the mild-mannered former finance minister’s apple cart.

He recently resigned from the party, but the public still seems to link him to PAP policies and the party itself.

(Lee Kuan Yew once said that he had wanted Dr Tan to succeed him as Prime Minister, but his younger ministers had unanimously chosen Goh Chok Tong).

In the current political environment, Lee’s admiration could spell trouble for his candidacy.

PAP supporters, however, say that online surveys are not conclusive since they exclude the non-English speaking and non-Internet users.

Besides, the anti-PAP votes being split three ways should ensure victory for the 71-year-old Dr Tan.

“I think he may get less than 50% of the vote,” said one party grassroots leader.

The presidential election to be held next Saturday is supposed to be non-political, but with the strong emotions generated, keeping it free of politics is impossible.

The campaign is developing into a heated affair with booing and yelling crowds. Many Singaporeans are regarding it as an extension of the May general election, when the PAP took a drubbing.

A former trade unions chief and former PAP chairman said that given the current situation, people might prefer a President who is not closely linked with the PAP.

“My sense is that people would prefer if there were someone who can be a strong unifying symbol for Singaporeans, who’s not so closely related to the PAP,” he commented.

Dr Tony Tan is facing a strong challenge from former opposition figure Tan Jee Say, 56, who once served as Goh Chok Tong’s Principal Private Secretary.

He joined the private sector, serving as regional managing director of investment firm AIB Govett (Asia).

Of the two others, Tan Cheng Bock, 71, is a medical doctor and ex-PAP MP, and Tan Kin Lian, a former executive of insurer NTUC Income.

Next week’s vote will be crucial for the PAP.

It will show if Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s reforms to lessen public grouses – namely, the reduction of high cabinet pay and intake of foreign professionals, the provision of more public housing and varsity places – are working or not.

If Dr Tan’s vote falls too much below 60%, it will signify greater unhappiness. This will spell trouble in the 2016 general election.

But if he loses – a distinct possibility – it will be regarded as the first election defeat for the powerful PAP.

Prominent blogger ‘redbean’ said that Dr Tan’s defeat would be “the clearest sign of change, that the wind in the PAP sail is off.”

The election has started a big debate on the role and power of the president.

Singaporeans are demanding to known why a largely ceremonial president is paid an eye-popping salary of S$4mil a year.

It was made an elected post in a constitutional amendment in 1991, which also granted him a few special functions – including the right to veto key government positions and tap into Singapore’s past reserves.

It was Lee’s idea of safeguarding the nation’s reserves from being frittered away after he is gone.

A year after he stepped down as Prime Minister, it came into effect.

Under the scheme, the elected president was to keep “a second key” to the reserves.

But Lee and his successors apparently did not anticipate the possibility of a determined president insisting on doing his job.

In 1999, then President Ong Teng Cheong revealed that he encountered a “long list” of problems when he tried to protect the reserves.

He said he was not provided a list of Singapore’s total physical assets.

When he asked, the Accountant-General replied it would take 56 million man-years to work out.

“Giving the president the capability to check the government may work – as long as he is a pro-PAP figure,” said a blogger.

“What will happen if a PAP critic, or worse, someone hailing from the opposition, is elected and decides to challenge?”

All this may have increased the chance in future of another constitutional amendment on presidential powers.

(This was first published in the Star).

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