IN WHAT is possibly the most controversial decision the PAP government has made in recent years, the upcoming Reserved Presidential Election has divided many Singaporeans. Everyone is talking about it and everyone has an opinion. Here’s mine.
Quite frankly, I believe that we should not have a reserved Presidential Election. Not because I oppose the concept, but because I am a purist and I believe that we should not discount the required qualification. The independent constitutional commission set a benchmark of $500 million and by all accounts, Salleh Marican and Farid Khan don’t qualify.
Some of you might argue that $430 million (in the case of Khan) is “pretty close” and that in the spirit of competition, we should let him contest. This is seriously the slippery slope argument. If $430 million is close, what about $420 million, or $400 million or even $390 million. Where do you draw the line? If we allow Khan to run as he is close to the benchmark, then $430 million becomes the new benchmark. There will be no end.
At its essence, the role of the President is a serious one. Besides acting as the safeguard for our reserves, the President represents Singapore and Singaporeans on the international stage. Given the prestige of the office, only the most qualified should occupy it. As such, I believe that we cannot offer any discounts. Not when the pride of the nation is at stake.
So, if you ask me. If Halimah is the only qualified candidate, so be it! We should not have a Reserved Presidential Election just for the sake of having one. Sometimes, no choice is the best choice.
P.S. Halimah has dedicated her life to serving Singapore. Until this year, we have not seen or heard of Marican or Khan doing anything for Singaporeans. Hence, I will have no regrets if Halimah is elected President even via a walkover.
This article is contributed by Tan Feng Ching. If you would like to contribute any articles, do PM us 🙂