Tan Kin Lian slammed for insensitive Facebook post

Deborah Choo

Former presidential hopeful Tan Kin Lian has drawn the ire of netizens for an insensitive Facebook post.

In a post on Wednesday and without mentioning any names, the former NTUC chief made reference to the "false rumours of the death of a well-known Singapore personality". 

He went on to recount a bizarre World War II story told to him by a Swedish friend 20 years ago before ending off the post with a "Ha,ha! Happy 47th National Day".

Within a span of four hours, his post had over 30 shares and likes respectively, and close to 60 comments.

His post sparked a strong response from netizens who felt his post was in bad taste.

Facebook user Jude Tan said that “as a former Presidential hopeful it is kind of bewildering to me personally that someone who aspires to one of the highest offices in our fair country would choose to make fun of the rumored passing away of one of Singapore's most senior politicians".

Another user Benjamin Loh added that if the post "was written in jest by a kid, we'd all probably condone it. Yet from a presidential hopeful who was supposedly going to be the head of state and represent Singapore -- his joke (out of jest nonetheless) was uncalled for, unjustified and blatantly low.”

When asked by a user what he meant by his post, Tan replied, “It means that some Singaporeans, e.g. you, do not know how to interpret any hidden message and need to have everything spelled out clearly.”

Others, however, defended Tan.

User Andrew Goh said, “Come on la, Mr Tan was just highlighting that there was a rumour only what. He never endorse it from the way I see it. Why be so sensitive on this issue?”

When contacted by Yahoo! Singapore, Tan said " I have no further comment".