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Thursday September 21st 2017

Ten Reasons Why Singaporeans Must Protest Against the Reserved Presidential Election

Ten reasons why Singaporeans must protest against the Reserved Presidential Election:-

1. The Reserved Presidential Election goes against the principle of our Singapore Pledge which is “regardless of race, language or religion”. Having a Malay-only election irks many who preferred that the best man be President whether he is Malay, Indian, Eurasian or Chinese. Decades of nation building promoting multi-culturalism have finally brought us together as one but the Malay-only PE has set us back once more.

2. Many have also felt that the Malay-only Presidential election is meant to keep Dr Tan Cheng Bock away as he is expected to win against any PAP incumbent candidate. He merely lost by 3000 over votes in the last PE to Tony Tan and the constitution to allow a Malay-only candidate was suspiciously only amended last year.

3. People are uncomfortable that the government is seen as deliberately deterring the people’s favourite from standing for election and especially if he is not coming from the government’s preferred slate he will be chopped off. Such precedence if allaowed to take root here will give rise to dictatorship and nepotism.

The government should not intervene heavily in who is going to stand in the election if he meets the necessary criterion. Putting in the race criterion is a cheap way to rule out his candidacy and iit s also risky as it may jeopardise decades of hard work we put in to build up a multi-racial united platform.

4. People are also uncomfortable that the PE is now going to be a contest between a PAP incumbent being taken out of the government and fielded against the rest of the other candidates – its no longer seen as an open election whereby the best man will win on an equal footing. The PAP incumbent has the advantage of swaying the votes of loyal PAP supporters and the public profile he holds all along within the government will give him a clear edge compared to the rest of the other laymen candidates.

The government should stay out of the election by not fielding it’s own preferred candidate and let the people have a bigger say in who they want to be as their President.

5. The three candidates are perceived to be non-Malay in a Malay-only PE further adding fuel to a already heated situation and this has hurt the feelings of our Malay Singaporeans. It goes right down to the roots of being a true-blue Malay and many feel disgusted that the Reserved Presidential Election meant to protect the interests of Malays is now being used by the government to promote its own interests.

There is nothing very Malay in all the three candidates and even the government’s preferred candidate Halimah Yacob is distinctly Indian as her father is Indian and mother Malay. One other Indian candidate has much difficulty communicating in Malay during an interview! It is tough for a clearly Indian Presidential candidate to be seen as speaking to the Malay minority group and trying to protect their interests.

6. The government’s direct interference in the first-elected Presidency order has also irked many Singaporeans who is very proud that Mr Ong Teng Cheong is their first elected President. To count in Mr Wee Kim Wee as the first elected President though clearly he is a appoined one, Mr Ong is now being relegated to being the second elected President. This is done to prevent Dr Tan from standing for election as the just-amended constitution has to allow in a Malay-only Reserved Presidential Election if after five terms there isn’t one Malay President yet.

People’s preference: the government should stop interfering in the constitution and listen to wha the people want on the ground.

7. There are also unfounded rumours that everything is not right with the reserves and due to a lack of transparency Singaporeans are unable to verify exactly what is left in the national reserves. The President’s main duty is to safeguard the reserves and check if everything is alright and that nothing is amiss. The government’s persistent stand to deter a viable candidate from standing for election smells of a strong fear so much so that it has now placed it’s own preferred candidate to bid its calling.

The government ought to be more transparent in accounting for the reserves and let the President does the job of safeguarding it properly for the country. Doing anything less is denying the real intention of the presidency in the first place.

8. The government has also changed the constitution of the Presidential role in safeguarding the reserves by subjecting him to a committee probably appointed government officials and it is seen to curtail the main Presidential role of guarding the reserves for the country. This is not right and it goes against the initial constitution of the President to protect our national reserves for the people.

The President should be the second key to unlock our reserves and not be acting under the bidding of the government which many fear may happen if a preferred candidate is elected as President.

9. The government’s refusal to allow by-election at Marsling-Yew Tee GRC where Halimah is hailed from as a minority candidate. This is another hiccup of the coming PE and angers many from the minority group as they fear that their interests are now being jeopardised with the withdrawal of Halimah as a Malay-only candidate for the Reserved PE. Its also goes contrary against the principle of our group representation constituency (GRC) whereby a miniority MP will look after the interests of our minority group. Voters also feel cheated with this unforeseen withdrawal.

10. Persistent use of the minority race to safeguard the government’s own interest. This has to stop as not only will it hurts our strong multi-cultural sentiments but we also subject ourselves to unnecessary ill feelings against one another. Singaporeans have now earn the right to be mentioned as ONE PEOPLE and using race to divide and rule us is just a low blow.

Join us on 2rd September 4pm at Speakers’ Corner as we debate on all these contentious issues for the Reserved Presidential Election. If you want to register as one of our speakers, please let us know.

Written by: Gilbert Goh
16 Aug 2017

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One Response to “Ten Reasons Why Singaporeans Must Protest Against the Reserved Presidential Election”

  1. #OneMalayTudong says:

    Hi Gilbert,
    It goes to show that our govt cannot be trusted anymore. By frequently roti-pratas & changing goalposts here and there to suit its own agenda it shows that the govt is in a panic mode. What worries us is the commoners still vote in the ruling party & many issues will be slipped under the carpet..it’s a sad politics scene in this little red dot.

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