SM Goh Chok Tong, whilst touring Israel and the Palestinian Territories, commented on reports that Nathan had hinted that he would not stand for re-election: "When I read President Nathan's comments in Malaysia, I though the hint was the other way that he may run. There was a certain studied ambiguity in his statement." Goh added, "He has done a very good job. If his health allows it, if he is fit and healthy, he would continue to make a good president."
Nathan had been quoted in the Chinese Daily Muzi News (Lateline News) in Malaysia, "I'm 81, you know? Everybody is speculating. I'm not speculating. I'm hoping to look into retirement."
Back in Singapore, President Nathan chose to take a philosophical stand when approached by reporters again at a Vesak Day event. "When due time comes, you will know the answer. I live by the day, whether I wake up tomorrow morning, I'm not sure," sounding more morose than ambiguous.
The reason for Nathan's uncertainty then was that Tony Tan was the more popular establishment choice. When Tan shied away, Nathan rushed to submit his unsolicited medical report.
Fast forward to 2011, when the mainstream media is lavishing praise on Tan as if he had parted the waters of the Red Sea to set the people free. All hail the man who will heal the polarisation attributed to the recent elections.
|I'm 87, you know?|
Even Nathan had to concede he has earned his "fair share of criticism". Short of an apology, he said, "If I have fallen short, I would like the people of Singapore to know that this has not been for lack of effort or commitment." How about returning all those millions you pocketed for doing zilch?
Of all the nauseating "tributes" collated for face saving gestures, this one takes the cake: "His time in office will be remembered as one of wisdom and compassion." Need we be reminded that all those calls for a presidential pardon for Yong Vui Kong fell on deaf ears and an ice-cold heart?