Eric Tan is a gentleman

In Political governance on 15/05/2011 at 7:00 am

There has been a lot of Internet chatter on Eric Tan’s very public resignation from the WP following the party’s decision not to appoint him as one of the WP’s NCMPs.

There is one strand of criticism that makes him out to be a self-centred egoist, putting self before party.

I know Eric. He is a meek, mild and gentle man with steely determination. He is not into doing things for “glory” or publicity. He became a member of WP when it was not a fashionable thing to do.

When the rest of the WP 2006 East Coast election team went AWOL, he continued working the ground quietly. Words like “betrayed” do not come naturally to him.

 He is also not given to doing impulsive or petulant things. He is a rational man as befits an engineer and senior bank executive. He is not someone who uses the word “betrayed” lightly, or who resigns publicly in a huff because he didn’t get his way. Neither does he do anger unless provoked very badly. 

So even though I have not tried to find out more from him about his resignation, I know enough abt him to know that things must have been said or done to make him

— say he felt “betrayed”,

— say that the decision not to give him the NCMP post was “dropped like a bomb on my lap“, and

— resign publicly on “principle”.

What these are, I do not know and I’d rather not speculate. But others have speculated on the Internet that he was “played out”. The remarks of “betrayed” and “dropped like a bomb on my lap“, could reasonably be taken as evidence supporting this view.

Let’s salute him for the part he has played in WP’s breakthrough and leave it at that. And be sorry that a good man has left politics.

  1. I have utmost respect for all the older opposition candidates, since they have not only overcome the conditioning of their upbringing, but are courageous enough to draw a line in the sand and stand against the overwhelming might of the establishment.

    All men have their breaking point, and I suspect with Mr. Tan, he has reached his. This must be the final coup de grâce which, in management talk, eroded his confidence in the management to zero.

    After all, as the old saying goes, employees leave managers, not organizations.

  2. Hi, I’ve the honour of meeting Eric a few times when he was with RBC Dexia. I agree with you he is a meek, mild and gentle man, which is why I’m so surprised with his decision and action. Regardless of the fact of whether he is betrayed or not by his party or fellow comrades, he should be matured and careful not to let his disappointment over-rule the bigger picture. He is a great man, and I’m sure he will have preferred to handle this differently. Nevertheless, every man has his breaking point. We should just believe that this is one of those moment for him.
    Thank you Eric for the hard work.

  3. If you do know Eric, tell him to find a party which better suits him. We are at a turning point in history that happens, for lack of a better phrase, once in 50 years. What happens in the next 5 years will determine the shape of Singapore for the next 20 to 30 years.

  4. […] in Cabinet – Think Happiness: Interview on transition of power – Thoughts of a Cynical Investor: Eric Tan is a gentleman – TOC: Singapore People’s Party aims high – Sylvia Lim’s Blog: Those Aljunied Voters! – […]

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