DPM Teo (one of the few ministers I don’t begrudge getting millions in salary) says that electing a president is different from electing a MP, and Singaporeans should understand this before making their choice.
“When you’re electing an MP, you want somebody who’s active on the ground, working with residents and so on …The President, I think, has a different role to play. He needs to be measured, considered and, at the same time, also be a unifying factor on a higher level for all Singaporeans.” Article
Why doesn’t he come out and simply tell us that we shouldn’t treat the presidential election as another chance to show our dis-satisfaction with the ruling PAP? Sumething that we did in 1993, when Mr Chua Kim Yeow (a retired accountant-general) stood against Ong Teng Cheong. Despite being an unknown who didn’t campaign (he said he couldn’t afford it), he got 41% of the votes.
This was widely seen by S’poreans as a protest vote against the PAP who in GE1991 got 61% of the popular vote.
Since then the presidential elections have been walkovers, with only one eligible candidate standing.
This year may be different. One person who seems eligible is prepared to stand: Dr Tan Chin Bok. Another person who looks eligible, Tan Kin Lian has said, ,”If and when it [COE] is approved, I will decide if I wish to take part in the contest”.
Hence the coded message that DPM Teo is sending us: Don’t use the presidential election to show unhappiness with the PAP. And the attempts of Jayakumar and Shanmugam to put the role of the president in a cage.
But if there is an election, we, the voters, can vote to send a message to the PAP that we are still unhappy.
Thank you Mr “Hard Truths” for coming up with the role elected presidency. Although you didn’t intend it, the post has become a symbol that S’poreans can use to show that they are not happy with yr version of Utopia.