Singapore Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam running for presidential polls

by IANS |

Singapore, June 8 (IANS) Tharman Shanmugaratnam, a Senior Minister from Singapore's ruling People's Action Party (PAP), on Thursday announced his intention to run in the presidential election this year, while also informing Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong of his decision to retire from politics and all other positions in the incumbent government.

The 66-year-old has been serving as Senior Minister of Singapore since 2019, Coordinating Minister for Social Policies since 2015, and Chairman of the Monetary Authority of Singapore since 2011.

In a letter to Prime Minister Lee, Shanmugaratnam, who is also an economist, said: "I plan to do so a month from now, on July 7, 2023, so that I can first fulfil my immediate official commitments in Singapore and internationally, and ensure that arrangements are fully in place for constituents of Jurong GRC to be well-served for the rest of the electoral term," Channel News Asia reported.

He will also step down from all the other roles and responsibilities he has been undertaking in his ministerial capacity.

In response, the Prime Minister told Tharman, also in a letter, that he understands the decision to run for President.

"It is in keeping with the spirit of public service and sense of duty that you have shown all these years. As the Head of State, the President is a unifying figure to all citizens, and represents Singapore internationally. The President also exercises important custodial powers, holding the second key when it comes to spending past reserves and making certain critical appointments.

"Through your various finance roles, you have gained deep knowledge of the system and how the reserves are safeguarded. Your international stature and your experience in government and politics will also stand you in good stead as you represent the nation domestically and abroad." Lee added.

Tharman has been a PAP MP representing the Taman Jurong division of Jurong GRC since 2001.

He has also been serving as Deputy Chairman of the Singaporean sovereign wealth fund GIC.

An economist by profession, Tharman has spent his entire working life in the public service for Singapore, in roles principally related to economic and social policies.

He has also simultaneously led various high level international councils and panels.

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