Elected Presidency Changes Passed in Parliament

An article posted by me in REACH on 11 Nov 2016

https://www.reach.gov.sg/participate/discussion-forum/2016/11/10/elected-presidency-changes-passed-in-parliament

[Article]
“A Bill to amend the Constitution for changes to the Elected Presidency was passed in Parliament (9 Nov) at the end of three full days of debate.”

What a farcical statement, to say the least. Was there really a debate? From the moment the govt shivered with fear with the realization that Tan Cheng Bok could become the next President, a devious scheme started to hatch. The Bill to amend the Constitution is precisely the result of the devious scheming that started from that moment. Seventy-seven voted Yes – and they were all PAP MPs; the No vote emanated from all the 6 MPs from the Worker’s Party. What debate were we referring to? If the govt wants to enact something legal, just table it in Parliament; and we know what the result would be, even though it is blatantly irrational, inequitable, racist, or plain stupid.

Maybe the govt already has someone specific in mind for the Presidency, and the person happens to be a Malay; maybe a PAP supporter or affiliate.

If having someone from a minority racial group as President is such an important consideration, what about applying the same consideration to the position of PM? We have not had a non-Chinese PM for 57 years! But racial consideration alone cannot and should not ever be a good reason for electing someone to a position of power. Personal skills and intelligence are meritorious of course, and deserve equal, if not greater, consideration.

The amendments to the law regarding the Presidency – as some of us may have thought – are to take effect from the outcome of the Presidential election taking place in 2017 and in the next four Presidential elections. In other words, if no one from a minority racial group became President or elected as President, for the next 20/25 years, then the relevant statue would become effective. But it has only now become clear that the govt wants a Malay as President for the next term starting from 2017. Whether a person is Malay or Chinese, or non-Malay or non-Chinese, they have to compete against others in a fair, general election, based on votes cast by the people. What this means is that there would be no non-Malay candidates for the Presidential election in 2017. Is this fair to members of other racial groups? The answer is No of course.

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