Your neighbour has been saying it. Your coffeeshop uncle also has been saying it. Even your family (father, mother, wife, husband, son, daughter) have been saying it. You may have even seen the meme. Say what? See what?
The President of Singapore has already been decided.
National Day Parade and National Day Rally have come and gone. The next main event (not referring to F1 or Michael Learns to Rock concert) is the Presidential Elections. The season is upon us when Tony Tan is stepping down and we will soon have two new photos hanging at every governmental office and schools.
Some of you are already cursing and swearing about how the Presidential Elections are rigged and that you will spoil your votes. Question is…are you cursing and swearing based on emotions and jumping on the “Everything also complain” bandwagon?
LET’S THINK ABOUT IT.
1. Harder to do the Right Thing but Easier to do the Wrong Thing
Some quarters in Singapore are rooting for Fandi Ahmad to run for President. They say just show his old footage of his Malaysia Cup goals as part of his campaign. Sure win!
Many of us have misunderstood the amendments made to the Presidential Elections Act regarding the reserved elections. The truth is that the candidate in the reserved election must meet the same qualifying criteria as any other candidate. So, if you don’t meet the criteria, you are not eligble.”
So for those who say the government trying to “block” Adrian Tan Cheng Bock, even though it may not be a reserved election, Adrian still does not meet the criteria. The government is more concerned with our future than we know it.
2. The Elected Presidency is a key institution for the good of Singapore.
Last week, the Malay-language newspaper Utusan Malaysia published a commentary titled “Presiden sekadar simbolik – Berubahkah nasib kaum Melayu di Singapura?”. The writer shared that Singapre’s President was “merely symbolic and had no political power at all”.
This is far from the truth and no doubt just some jealous trouble-makers. Luckily, our Singapore netizens wasn’t buying it either.
Singapore’s High Commissioner to Malaysia, Vanu Gopala Menon rebutted with a strongly worded letter to the paper. Mr Menon said: “Contrary to the false assertions in the commentary, the Singapore President, who is elected with a popular mandate, plays key roles in nation-building and in ensuring good governance.”
He added that such key roles include being the “symbol and unifier of a multi-racial Singapore”, “the custodian of the nation’s reserves” and “protector of the integrity of its public service”.
Our President is SO MUCH MORE than just showing up at Istana Open Houses, meeting foreign dignitaries, and taking photos with babies.
3. Out of the potential hopefuls, who would you rather be your President?
Would you choose the candidate that is MOST qualified?
Would you want a President that is experienced?
Would you select the candidate who has a proven track record of caring for the needy, able to fight for the rights of groups he or she represents?
Would you want a leader who is in touch with the ground and is aware of the ground sentiments?
Put it this way, whatever the outcome of the Elected Presidency, trust the system. We may not understand why things are done in a certain way. We will have detractors along the way. It may feel wrong but have a little faith that things will be alright. In the government, we trust.
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