The tree Dr Tan Cheng Bock planted and the street soccer court he officially opened as MP of Ayer Rajah are no more.
Now, a small plant stands in place of the large Tembusu plant Dr Tan planted on 5 November 1989.
Meanwhile, works are ongoing to clear the street soccer court at Teban Gardens Dr Tan opened on 5 Dec 1999 and upgrade it to a futsal court.
These reminders of Dr Tan as former Ayer Rajah MP are erased for good.
Presidential Elections Around the Corner
Is the timing too much of a coincidence? The next presidential election is likely to happen before 2023. Is this a sign that it is coming soon? The PAP is simply not going to risk another close shave with Dr Tan Cheng Bock.
During the August 2011 presidential elections, Dr Tan (34.85% of votes) lost by a narrow margin of 7,269 votes to Dr Tony Tan (35.19% of votes).
When Dr Tan Cheng Bock wanted to run for president again in 2016, the criteria abruptly changed, making him ineligible. Eventually it was a walkover as Halimah Yacob was the only candidate who was eligible.
Why does the PAP see Dr Tan as such a huge threat? Dr Tan was popular with his constituents and he definitely stood a good chance of getting elected as president. If he became the president, it will be the end of PAP’s era of free rein.
Will Dr Tan run as a presidential candidate again? We do not know. What we do know however, is that the PAP will do anything in their power to make it difficult for Dr Tan to win if he does contest.
While these physical reminders of Dr Tan no longer exist, memories of him as MP and his legacy will remain in people’s minds for a long time, so too will the joke of the 2016 presidential reserved election.