Home singapore PE 2023: Tharman 'truly humbled' by landslide win; supporters jubilant

PE 2023: Tharman 'truly humbled' by landslide win; supporters jubilant

PE 2023: Tharman 'truly humbled' by landslide win; supporters jubilant
President-elect Tharman Shanmugaratnam said he was “truly humbled” by the results of the Presidential ElectionHe garnered 70.4 per cent of the votes cast, ahead of rival candidates Ng Kok Song and Tan Kin Lian at 15.72 per cent and 13.88 per cent respectively Mr Tharman said that he “will honour the trust that Singaporeans have placed in me” He added that the result was not “a vote for me” but “a vote for Singapore’s future, a future of optimism and solidarity”His supporters gathered at Taman Jurong Market and Food Centre were jubilant and said the result was “expected”

By Taufiq Zalizan & Charlene Goh Published September 2, 2023 Updated September 2, 2023 Bookmark Bookmark Share WhatsApp Telegram Facebook Twitter Email LinkedIn

SINGAPORE — Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam said early Saturday morning (Sept 2) that he was “truly humbled” by the strong endorsement he has received from Singaporeans, after garnering 70.4 per cent of the votes for Friday’s Presidential Election.   His rival candidates, Mr Ng Kok Song and Mr Tan Kin Lian, respectively received 15.72 per cent and 13.88 per cent of the more than 2.4 million votes cast. 

Posting on Facebook, Mr Tharman said: “I believe the vote for me and what I stood for is a vote of confidence in Singapore itself, a vote of optimism in how we can progress together and support each other as Singaporeans.”

He thanked fellow Singaporeans, “whichever way” they had voted for their interest and calm engagement in the issues raised in the election. 

Earlier on Friday night, Mr Tharman also spoke to the media following the release of the sample count which showed accurately that he had received 70 per cent of the votes. 

The sample count is based on 100 votes from each of the 1,264 polling centres. It has a confidence rate of 95 per cent and a margin of error of 4 percentage points. 

By comparison, at the last contested Presidential Election in 2011, the winner, Dr Tony Tan, secured about 35 per cent of the total votes cast in a four-way contest.

Speaking over the noise of hundreds of supporters who came out to see him at the Taman Jurong Market and Food Centre in Jurong West, Mr Tharman, 66, said: “I am truly humbled. And I will honour the trust that Singaporeans have placed in me and respect all Singaporeans for the views they’ve expressed, including those who did not vote for me.” 

The former Senior Minister and Deputy Prime Minister added that this was not “a vote for me” but “a vote for Singapore’s future, a future of optimism and solidarity”.

“It will have to be a future where we have deeper respect for each other as Singaporeans, it will have to be a future that ensures that every generation gets the confidence of knowing that we have reserves and we have the backing that will help us in the future come what may.”It has to be a future where Singapore is never treated as just a small country. A future where we’re taken seriously by the world, we’re a partner of choice and where we can project our voice of reason internationally in an endangered world, ” he said. 

He added that his campaign was one of “optimism and solidarity” and he believed that “it has received strong endorsement by Singaporeans”.

Flanked by his supporters, many of whom were carrying pineapples — his campaign symbol — Mr Tharman said it was now a start of a whole period of duty and responsibility.

“I pledge — and it will be my duty — to use the roles and responsibilities of the President to advance this future of optimism and solidarity among Singaporeans. That is my pledge,” he said.

He had left politics as Member of Parliament for Jurong Group Representation Constituency ahead of his run for President.

The pineapple was the logo and symbol of Mr Tharman’s campaign. He said during the campaign that he chose it because it in an attractive fruit and a key ingredient in rojak, a dish that Singaporeans love.

Asked by a media representative about the need for a reserved election given his projected win, Mr Tharman said: “This was a contested election with a multi-racial slate. I’ve always said that race is never absent in politics anywhere in the world or even in an apolitical election of this case.

“Race is never absent but it is not the only factor, and I think with each half-decade, Singapore is changing and evolving and I hope that my being elected President is seen as another milestone in that process of evolution.”

He thanked his rivals Mr Ng and Mr Tan for their “very active participation” in the election and “the sheer energy” of their campaigns, adding that he had already spoken to Mr Ng on the phone but had not yet reached Mr Tan.  

Mr Ng conceded defeat to Mr Tharman following the sample count results while Mr Tan congratulated Mr Tharman, but said he would wait for the final results before conceding.Mr Tharman added that he will be visiting a number of places throughout Saturday as part of his celebrations to thank voters.


At Taman Jurong Market and Food Centre were Ms Sumithra Devi, 60, and her daughter Ms Lavaniya, 23, who were ecstatic about Mr Tharman’s victory.

“We feel so proud and happy,” they said with smiles on their face.

They had seen him live on the news at the hawker centre, and had rushed down from their home nearby to catch a glimpse of him on Friday night.

The family has lived in Taman Jurong for 21 years and said that he has helped them in many ways.

Couple Shaun Lau and Pauline Tan, who were also at the food centre, said that Mr Tharman’s landslide victory “was to be expected”.

“I feel given the current slate of candidates for this particular elections, my expectations were actually around 70 per cent,” said Mr Lau, 41, a financial advisor.

For Mr Vignesh Chandrasekaran, 24, the win was expected but he had not foreseen such a large margin of victory.

“That margin is normal in Jurong, because he has been here for almost 20 years…but I didn’t expect it to show nationwide,” said the engineer.

For Mr Cheok Xin Lin, 22, an undergraduate at the National University of Singapore, the landslide victory was a “huge relief”.

Mr Cheok, who is a long-time Jurong resident and also a volunteer in Mr Tharman’s campaign, said: “Mr Tharman watched me grow up. So today I’m here to watch him step up and be the next President of Singapore.”