Tan Cheng Bock disappointed over forum's cancellation

Former MP and presidential candidate Tan Cheng Bock expressed his disappointment in a Facebook post yesterday at the cancellation of a public forum on the elected presidency, which he said he had signed up to attend.

Dr Tan, who ran for the presidency in 2011 and expressed interest in contesting the next one, said he had registered last week for the event, which was scheduled to be held yesterday.

But the forum organiser, Government feedback unit Reach, said in a post on its Facebook page yesterday that the event was cancelled because of poor response, and a cancellation notice was released on Wednesday. It added: "In response to queries, we confirm that we do not have any registration under the name of Dr Tan Cheng Bock for this dialogue."

Some netizens, writing on Dr Tan's Facebook page, suggested that the forum was cancelled because Reach knew he would be attending.

When contacted by The Straits Times and told that Reach had no registration for a "Tan Cheng Bock", Dr Tan said he registered as "Adrian Tan", which is part of his full name on his identity card.

The cancelled forum was one of several organised after the release earlier this month of a Constitutional Commission report on the elected presidency which recommended changes in a number of areas. The Government responded with a White Paper and Parliament is expected to debate the issue in November.

In his post, Dr Tan said he had planned to attend the forum with his friends and family and was keen to hear from Law Minister K. Shanmugam, who was due to speak.

Olivia Ho

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 30, 2016, with the headline 'Tan Cheng Bock disappointed over forum's cancellation'. Print Edition | Subscribe