Heartfelt Taman Jurong farewell for Senior Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, who now runs for Singapore President’s office

Several thousands of Singapore residents turned up for the weekend farewell for Senior Minister and Singapore presidential candidate Tharman Shanmugaratnam, organised at Taman Jurong Community Club.

Tharman Shanmugaratnam at an earlier event – always a people’s man. Photo courtesy: Instagram/leehsienloong

Tharman, as he is called, was given the heartfelt farewell on Saturday. Once he decided to run for president, he stepped down from his political assignments. However, as the Member of Parliament for Taman Jurong since 2001, the farewell was a major event.

Mothership Singapore, which reported extensively on the farewell, said that residents had to register for the farewell in advance. To manage all the attendees, there were two sessions of the farewell — one from 9am; another from 4pm.

Many memento photographs were taken with Tharman by the residents, who queued from morning to get inside. They also scribbled their wishes and thanks for Tharman on the ‘memory wall’ at the venue. One message read: “Dear Mr and Mrs Tharman, to have Tharman as Singapore’s President is Singapore’s blessing. Wishing [the] future president well and [I am] grateful to have SM serving the nation for [22] years.”

Mothership quoted long-time local residents, Malay couple Saanea Abdullah and Mohd Kasim, as saying, “[Tharman] cares for the residents… He is always around.”

Tharman announced his presidential candidature earlier this month. He informed Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on June 8 of his intention to resign from the People’s Action Party (PAP), resign from his ministerial position, and run for the office, as the term of President Halimah Yacob comes to an end.

The Senior Minister’s presidential election rivals — in terms of who else has filed the application — are Singapore entrepreneur George Goh and former secondary school teacher Seng Soon Kia.