Lest you’re unaware, the 2023 Presidential Election has already been over for over a month.
Former Senior Minister of Singapore Tharman Shanmugaratnam ultimately emerged as the victor, and though Ng Kok Song and Tan Kin Lian suffered defeat, they could, at the very least, take consolation in the fact that they still had their deposits.
That, and the notion that they didn’t spend as much on advertising expenses as the current President.
Here’s How Much Each Presidential Candidate Spent for PE 2023
The candidates’ election returns have been made available on the Elections Department’s website, and their advertising expenses have been unveiled in full:
All three candidates splashed out more than S$1.1 million in total on various marketing campaigns.
Mr Tharman, who swept the election with a staggering 70.4% of votes, spent the most, having incurred total advertising expenses of S$738,717.
Of the $738,717, $481,226 went to the non-online advertising segment, with S$284,820 going to brochures and postage and S$150,120 going to posters and banners.
S$141,865 went to the online advertising side, with S$68,040 being incurred for social media expenses.
S$2,977 were spent on transport expenses and $22,885 on office rental, equipment, and supplies.
The remaining amount, S$89,764, was shelled out on “other expenses”.
Mr Ng, who took runner-up in the 2023 PE race, also spent the second-highest, with S$312,131 dedicated to advertising expenses.
Of the S$312,131, S$280,800 went to online advertising, particularly Gushcloud services.
Just S$1,059 was forked out for the non-online advertising side, with the amount going to brochures.
S$18,255 was used for transport expenses, while the office side of things took up just S$81.
The remaining amount, S$11,936, was shelled out on “other expenses”.
Meanwhile, Mr Tan, who finished third in the race, had the least amount of expenses in this area, with just S$71,366 spent.
Of the S$71,366, S$69,478 went to the non-online advertising side, with S$29,912 going to posters.
Just S$20 was forked out for online advertising services.
The remaining amount, S$1,868, was used for “other expenses”.
During the election, each candidate could use up to S$812,822.10 for expenses.
It should be noted, however, that Mr Tharman and Mr Tan had received donations for their respective campaigns.
Mr Tharman, in particular, had received S$800,000 in donations.
A spokesman for Mr Tharman’s campaign said the excess funds will be returned accordingly.
Subsequently, it was mentioned that the donors have decided to donate the remainder to the President’s Star Charity.
Meanwhile, Mr Tan had received more than 120 PayNow transactions. There was also a cash donor who turned up to offer $9,900.
As for Mr Ng, he did not receive any donations.
Back in the 2017 campaign, former President Halimah Yacob had forked out over S$220,000 on expenses, including promotional materials.
In 2011, Mr Tan, who had also contested then, spent $70,912.
In previous elections, curious parties had to pay $2 and turn up in person to inspect relevant documents concerning the candidates.
This is the first time the public can access such materials for free and from the comfort of their homes.
The returns will be accessible to the public until 19 April 2024.
You can check it out here.
However, note that you will have to log in with your SingPass.
Interestingly, apart from advertising expenses, the returns also sport miscellaneous items such as food and supermarket expenses. So, if you’re curious about what Mr Ng was eating through the campaign, you can check it out.
Oh, and check out the video below if you’re curious about how Mr Tharman clinched his landslide victory, too.
Presidential Election 2023
In the earliest hours of 2 September 2023, it was unveiled that former Senior Minister of Singapore Tharman Shanmugaratnam will be Singapore’s 9th President, after securing a staggering 70.4% of votes.
In total, he had garnered 1,746,427 votes.
Meanwhile, Ng Kok Song came in second with 390,041 votes, approximately 15.72% of the total count.
As for Tan Kin Lian, he came in last with 344,292 votes, 13.88% of the total count.
The figures were later updated to reflect more current standings: Mr Tharman with 1,749,261 votes, Mr Ng with 390,636, and Mr Tan with 344,584.