IMDA CEO Leaving Post & People Are Speculating That He’s Running for GE in East Coast GRC

With the Covid-19 situation improving and an election coming, people are speculating more than ever.

Who will run in the GE?

He just resigned, does that mean he’s going to enter politics?

She was seen eating Chicken Rice with a minister. What does that mean?

No one knows when the 2020 general election will be held, but that’s not stopping Singaporeans from spreading rumours faster than the coronavirus.

IMDA CEO Leaving Post & People Are Speculating That He’s Running for GE in East Coast GRC

Are you familiar with this friendly-looking man?

Image: Infocomm Media Development Authority

This is Mr Tan Kiat How, chief executive of the Info-communications Media Development Authority (IMDA).

Well, former chief executive, that is.

Tan stepped down from his post on Saturday (20 June), and will be replaced by Mr Lew Chuen Hong, who was Chief of Navy in the Singapore Armed Forces.

Tan was appointed chief executive officer of IMDA in 2017, according to TODAYonline.

His resignation has sparked rumours that he will enter politics in the upcoming general election, along with several other senior public servants who have recently left their posts.

A Potential Candidate

According to The Straits Times, Tan has been tipped as a potential candidate for the People’s Action Party (PAP) to contest in the East Coast GRC.

Two MPs are expected to leave the constituency – Mr Lim Swee Say and Mr Lee Yi Shyan.

But why do they think Tan will enter politics?

That’s because Tan, like many other senior public servants, has taken part in virtual discussions with residents and grassroots leaders over the past few months.

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These include:

  • a webinar on digitalisation for East Coast residents and MPs
  • a webinar on job opportunities and digital skills, hosted by Mr Lee Yi Shyan

Tan, however, remains coy about his possible foray into politics, saying his plans are still being finalised and that “it would be premature to share them now”.

Image: Giphy

He only said that he will be taking a short break to prepare for the birth of his first child in August.

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Other Possible Candidates

Several other public servants have recently stepped down, and people are speculating that they too will be a part of the coming election.

This includes Mr Yip Hon Weng, who left the Health Ministry, and Ms Ng Ling Ling, who was the chief of future primary care and director of community engagement at the Health Ministry’s Office of Healthcare Transformation (MOHT) until the end of March.


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Just like Mr Tan, Mr Yip and Ms Ng have participated in virtual discussions with residents and grassroots leaders recently.

So, When Will The Election Be Called?

No one knows, but some predict that the election will be called in a matter of weeks, due to certain signals from PAP leaders, reported The Straits Times.


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It will look very different, though.

Due to the Covid-19 outbreak, mass rallies and market walkabouts with entire GRC teams will likely not be allowed.

That’s why some candidates are reaching out to residents through online dialogues and even WhatsApp.

The number of polling stations will also be increased to reduce the number of voters in each station.

Voters will have to wear masks, undergo temperature screening, and practice safe distancing when they vote, among other things.


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Those who are serving Stay-Home notices will still be able to vote at special polling stations away from other voters.

But you probably shouldn’t have a bowl of Bak Kut Teh on the way back home.

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