8 Things Not to Forget When We Talk About the President

Attempting a Mothership style article. Hur hur. Enjoy my friends: 

1.     The President is a Symbolic Figure. This has been so since the dawn of our independence. Arguably, he is the King / Sultan / Monarch of Singapore.

2.     The President must be presentable, dignified, speaks well and have stamina. He got tons of international engagements to do, and must essentially wave and smile at everyone he meets. The wife or husband must be equally presentable. Otherwise, we must see them in every schools and public officers 24/7.

3.     Unlike the Queen, our President is directly elected since 1991. Singaporeans have enjoyed the election drama of the Duel of the Tans at the last GE.

4.     Our President must be elected because he must have the mandate to say no to the elected Government when it matters.

5.     Our President has slightly more power than the Queen of England.  With the exception of deciding who to send Christmas Cards to, the Queen of England cannot do anything without the Cabinet approval.  Our President can veto the Government over the use of Past Reserves or key appointments in the Civil Service.

6.     Our President has his own House of the Lords. They are call the CPA. Not Certified Public Accountant, but Council of Presidential Advisor.

7.     Our President needs to be Most Senior Executive of a significant company with at least $500 million in shareholders’ equity in his past life. Not that he has CEO power after he becomes President. Either that or you can be a top civil servant who manages huge budget.

8.     Because we are multi-racial, we must show that we embrace multi-racialism. There must occasionally be an Indian, Malay or Eurasian helming the top symbolic seat in our country. Otherwise, it does not look good for Singapore, symbolically.

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