August 25th, 2011
An analysis by a public relations consultancy suggests that the Tan Cheng Bock campaign has been the most digitally savvy in the 2011 Presidential Election race, slightly ahead of Tan Jee Say. See its report here.
However, even if Tan Cheng Bock is campaigning the hardest online, it appears to be Tan Jee Say who appeals most to Singapore’s more critical netizens. Temasek Review endorsed him early in the campaign. Now, the godfather of Singapore’s socio-political bloggers, Alex Au, has come out in support of the former civil servant:
“He may be a johnny-come-lately, but he really does hold certain deep convictions: about social equity, about the whole purpose of economic development, about the moral responsibility to lead a people in a certain direction that is more constructive than self-destructive, about the importance of respect for human rights and human life. When he speaks about conscience, he means it,” writes Au in his Yawning Bread blog.
Ng E-Jay of SGPolitics has also endorsed Tan Jee Say: “Mr Tan Jee Say’s political ideals will serve Singapore well. He has a heart for the people. He represents change and progress, and the empowerment of the people.”
The Online Citizen has not endorsed any candidate. One of its leading lights, Leong Sze Hian, is helping Tan Kin Lian. However, TOC’s readers are most enamoured of Tan Jee Say. Of more than 2,200 people who took part in a TOC survey, Tan Jee Say polled more support than the other three candidates combined.
So has Tony Tan’s groundbreaking attempt to reach out to bloggers fallen flat? Well, despite the risk of alienating TOC’s base, its editor Ravi Philemon has declared that Tony Tan “may not be half as bad as most of the online world makes him out to be”. In the solidly anti-government online environment, this is about the highest praise that any establishment figure could hope for.