75 Year Old Former GIC Chief Bids For Singapore Presidency

Former GIC chief investment officer Ng Kok Song has announced his intention to run for the Singapore presidency.

The 75-year-old arrived at the Elections Department on Wednesday morning (Jul 19), accompanied by his fiancée Sybil Lau, who is in her 40s, and his three children.

He is the third presidential hopeful to throw his hat into the ring. 

In a statement sent to the media, Mr Ng said he has been thinking about standing for the presidency for some time.

“Concerns about the integrity of our national institutions have convinced me that I should stand for President,” he said, noting that Singaporeans want to exercise their right to vote and not see another walkover.

He said he has never been a political figure, adding: “Singapore needs a President who is independent of any political party to safeguard the integrity of our institutions.”

“An independent President is better able to unite our country,” he continued.

“Singapore faces uncertain and difficult times ahead. We may have our differences of views and political affiliations, but differences must not become divisions in our society.

“As an independent President, I will be better able to help unite our country to face an uncertain future.”

Mr Ng retired from GIC – Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund – in 2013 after 27 years with the organisation. He was appointed GIC’s first group chief investment officer in 2007, a post he held until he retired. 

He is currently the executive chairman of Avanda Investment Management, an asset management company he co-founded in 2015 with two former GIC colleagues.

Government-linked firms Singapore Labour Foundation, Temasek and GIC had contributed around US$4 billion (S$5.3 billion) in assets to help launch Avanda, according to a Bloomberg report last year. The report added that Avanda’s assets have since more than doubled to about US$10 billion.

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