Former Singapore presidential candidate now spends his time fixing wooden bridges using his election posters

Former Singapore presidential candidate Tan Kin Lian spent his weekend fixing a wooden bridge. How exciting. (Photo: Tan Kin Lian / Facebook)
Former Singapore presidential candidate Tan Kin Lian spent his weekend fixing a wooden bridge. How exciting. (Photo: Tan Kin Lian / Facebook)

Before we begin, let us all remember two facts: this guy used to run for Singapore’s presidency and lost with only some four percent of votes in his favor, and he was the former chief executive officer of national insurance cooperative NTUC Income.

So what in the world is Tan Kin Lian doing fixing wooden bridges with his leftover election posters made out of plywood?

The answer may have something to do with his personal gripes that if the matter was handed over to the government, he said it might take more budget and more time to fix the situation.

But in order to understand how in heaven’s name our intrepid former presidential candidate got to this fascinating juncture in human consciousness, let us take you through a timeline of this riveting process in which Tan takes care of Things He Sees Out There.

The discovery

We begin with a Facebook post by Tan on Thursday, where he posts a photo of a makeshift wooden bridge covering a drain made out of haphazard wooden planks.

The bridge, located just outside his house, may rot and give way, observes Tan. In his next train of thought, he asks: “How should I secure it?”.

Tan – like any great presidential hopeful – then goes to social media to canvas for options. His fans reply with some rather interesting choices.

Pick your choice. (Photo: Tan Kin Lian / Facebook)
Pick your choice. (Photo: Tan Kin Lian / Facebook)

But no, Tan has a better idea: he has leftover election posters from his election campaign and they are made of plywood. By joining four of them together length-wise, he may be able to cover the top of the wooden bridge.

“The plywood came in handy,” he says.

And off our hero goes, to save one wooden bridge at a time. It’s safer than contesting an election and losing anyway.

The solution

As the day draws to a close, Tan posts the fruits of his labor on Facebook: he has managed to cover the bridge with four election posters. Hooray for mankind!

Comments on Tan’s work were largely pragmatic (given how Singaporeans somehow always claim to have the better solution to everything) and tried to offer Tan other solutions to solve possible issues that might occur with a wooden bridge covered in plywood.

Such helpful suggestions. (Photo: Tan Kin Lian / Facebook)
Such helpful suggestions. (Photo: Tan Kin Lian / Facebook)

Despite his wife’s valuable feedback that termites may attack the plywood, Tan sticks to his guns and decides to carry on with finishing the bridge by painting over the plywood.

The result

Wow, what a finish! Tan proudly shows off his “upgraded crossing” on Sunday morning on Facebook, with the reverse side of the plywood being painted a gorgeous, deep red.

Tan reminds us all again that he is using the reverse side of the plywood as the surface but because he is using leftover election posters, he bravely asks the question: “Will I be charged for criminal defamation?”.

“It costs me S$2 for the plywood, nail, and paint,” Tan proudly boasts on Facebook. “If the government does it, it may cost S$20,000 and take two years,” he alleges.

His commenters love the ingenious touch, but one commenter is a bit worried that Tan’s ego may be affected by him using his leftover posters. Have no fear though, for Tan has the humility that top-echelon people should possess.

So humble. (Photo: Tan Kin Lian / Facebook)
So humble. (Photo: Tan Kin Lian / Facebook)

Much like your typical grandfather, Tan replies to a disgruntled commenter by dedicating an entire post to him, proving that he knows the voice of the people and he knows how to use Facebook.

“I am aware that this crossing can be slippery on a rainy day, but it will be slippery everywhere… so we all have to be careful,” Tan dispenses some wise advice.

So, there you have it: the story of how Tan Kin Lian went from CEO to wooden bridge fixer. May God bless us all.

Reader Interactions

Leave A Reply


Support local news and join a community of like-minded
“Coconauts” across Southeast Asia and Hong Kong.

Join Now
Coconuts TV
Our latest and greatest original videos
Subscribe on