Singapore's Election Message


In the wake of Singapore’s most competitive presidential election ever, the city-state’s “leadership must continue to accommodate change,” says Asia Society Global Council Co-Chair Simon Tay in a new column. “A new compact is needed between Government and people, and the coming months will see if new ways of governing will emerge. …

“Prime Minister Lee's call for unity has been joined by President-elect Tony Tan. This is important after two of Singapore's most heated elections. With difficult times probably ahead, cohesion, political will and effective policies are needed. But unity cannot mean the unitary rule of a single strongman. Nor can be it achieved by Government alone. A new compact must be found with both Government and citizens doing their part. Only then can that provide unity under a good leadership, while catering for and managing the diversity and energy that the General and now the Presidential Elections have revealed.”

Simon, who is in Singapore, is chairman of the Singapore Institute of International Affairs. To arrange an interview, contact the Asia Society communications department at 212-327-9271 or