All three leading candidates are Tans.
They all have gd paper qualifications. Dr Tan Cheng Bock is a medical doctor. Dr Tony Tan has a PhD in Applied Mathematics (he also has a masters from MIT). When Tan Kin Lian qualified as an actuary, I’ve been told, there was only one other actuary here.
All three have dedicated their lives to public service. What the two doctors have done is a matter of public record. As one of the few actuaries in S’pore, TKL could have made a fortune in the private sector. He chose to be the CEO of NTUC Income. Those were the days when there were huge discrepancies in pay vis-a-vis the private sector and government and trade union sectors.
Of the three, only Tony Tan came from an upper middle class family. The other two had much humbler backgrounds.
Tony Tan was the only one who studied at SJI. The other two were RI boys.
Only Tony Tan has the dubious distinction of coming from St Pats.
But Tony Tan was the only scholar among the three.
Only Tan Cheng Bock worked among the poor peasants in the countryside. He would be someone Mao would have been proud of.
The other two would have been in Mao’s words,”Running dogs of the capitalists”. One was a banker, following in his uncle’s footsteps. The other was an insurance man.
TKL was the only one of the three not to pick up the COE form himself. He was “not free” and sent his friend to pick up the forms.
TKL is the only one of the three who says (on his presidential campaign website), “If and when it [COE] is approved, I will decide if I wish to take part in the contest.” The other two have not given themselves such an “escape clause”.
Two seem to have well oiled teams in place. Only one is a one-man band.