Goodbye Tony Tan: A glimpse of his prodigious political career

Resignation of Singapore President, Tony Tan, invokes feelings of love and affection in his countrymen, evident from the heartfelt farewell ceremony organized for him.

Tony Tan
Singapore President Tony Tan Reuters

Singapore President Tony Tan had resigned yesterday after serving six years in office. He was given a grand farewell ceremony, which was attended by around 215 guests. His fellow Istana staff showered him with good wishes and luck as he went on shaking hand and sharing hugs with each one of them.

International Business Time Singapore, as a mark of respect, has jotted down the journey of the great politician. Read to know more:

As Parliament member

Tony Tan Keng Yam was the seventh president to serve in office from 2011 to 2017. Before that, he was a member of the Singapore Parliament from 1979 to 2006 and held several ministerial positions like defense, finance, art trade, and industry.

As Deputy Prime Minister

Tony tan
Singapore's President Tony Tan waves to the audience during Singapore's 52nd National Day celebrations Reuters

Although he was the first choice to succeed Lee Kuan Yew, Tan declined the post and left the cabinet before returning as a Deputy Prime Minister. In July 2011, he resigned from the post of Deputy Chairman of Research and decided to contest in the 2011 Presidential Election, winning by a narrow margin of 0.34%. He was pronounced the President on Sept. 1, 2011.

He was a member of the People Action Party and became an MP in 1979. The responsibility of the new position brought a drastic change in his career and made him Singapore's Chief economic architect when he adopted a cut in Central Provident Fund.

Tan vs Ong Teng Cheong

He also had his own controversies, especially the dispute with Ong Teng Cheong, where Tan opposed to the shipping industry strike by Ong Teng Cheong, the Secretary General of the National Union Congress in January 1986. Prior to that, he had opposed the building of the Mass Rapid Transit in 1981 raised by Ong. There was also a controversy surrounding his son, Pattrick tan, on having received privileged treatment in military training.

Tan worked for the masses

Tan has organized many major national events during his period, right from helping the less privileged people to raising funds for the Singaporeans involved in social entrepreneurship. The love of his people for him was evident when Lee Bee Wahl, an MP, stood up and uttered "We Love You" before he left the stage.