So much nonsense is being spouted about the Presidency that you have to wonder if Singaporeans have lost all of their critical faculties or are they just too busy virtue signalling.
There was widespread righteous indignation in our so-called “alternative” media over a Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office Chan Chun Sing’s alleged Freudian slip when he addressed Halimah Yaacob as “Madam President” rather than “Madam Speaker” in Parliament on Monday. I see that. Yes. It was a slip that gave away an early indication that our next President is going to be Madam Yaacob. Shock horror! But frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn and here’s why.
- It’s a fact that this election is reserved for a Malay candidate.
- It’s a fact that the PAP introduced new eligibility rules last year.
- It seems likely that Mdm Halimah Yaacob will be the only Malay candidate who will be eligible given facts 1 and 2.
How many of these indignant scribblers are even minority race, obliged by law to carry an National Identity card identifying them as minority race? Whatever race you are, why bother getting worked up over the PAP’s moves to ensure that they have even more control over who gets elected President?
All checks and balances on executive power in Singapore disappeared a long time ago. How did they disappear? Historically through the usual power plays, deceit and conniving by Colonial rulers and vested outside interests. More recently because we the people, who still have the vote, did not resist. In fact most people welcomed the chance to give up their individual power to a draconian nanny state.
Get over yourselves. The PAP have unfettered power. Every branch of government and every institution has been brought firmly under the PAP’s control. There are no checks on that power and control. ( actually in recent years there was one. A man called M Ravi and he stopped the PM’s power over when to call a by-election- but he’s been fixed now)
Despite all the manufactured outrage by alternative media and keyboard warriors over the changes to the Elected Presidency, the EP was never an institution that was intended to keep Lee Kuan Yew and his son and later generations of the Lee family from power. The Elected Presidency was introduced solely to put a potential pebble in the machinery of government if an Opposition party was ever to take power in Singapore and produce a constitutional crisis to allow the PAP to take back power.
To understand what the Elected Presidency was about, everyone should watch this video of JBJ and Chiam See Tong debating with Lee Hsien Loong:
if you watch it and educate yourself as to how the role changed you will understand my view point. I simply cannot get excited over some of our brave so-called “civil society activists” slamming the recent changes to the Elected Presidency. These people are not prepared to agitate about any issues of real importance, merely where they feel the PAP have permitted them a safe space for a controlled and calibrated amount of dissent.
If Singaporeans want to see real democracy in action they can look no further than the huge protests have erupted all over the US against Trump and his executive orders. A judge, appointed by a Republican President, is prepared to stand up and place a temporary hold on Trump’s ban on Muslim immigration.
What does it matter who our President is? It is always going to be a PAP choice. Even before the new rules it was always pre -selection according to a PAP agenda and never was a free and open election.
I also cannot be bothered with the fools who get worked up about a not-so-much PAP candidate- i.e. retired long term PAP MP or civil servant. If one of these candidates were to be elected then again it would not matter. Why? The EP has no power because the EP must follow the advice of the Council of Presidential Advisors, which has recently been expanded and given more power. Should the EP ever go against that PAP group ‘s advice then he or she can be overruled by a 2/3 majority vote in parliament. The PAP always has, always had and probably always will have that 2/3 majority required to veto any President.
And why should I get excited over the EP when last election not one of the four campaigned on the actual unconstitutionality of the role? How it is a breach of parliamentary sovereignty. Did even one candidate ever say , “I’m just a ceremonial figurehead so long as the PAP have that 2/3 majority.”
How did all these virtuous bloggers and scribblers and activists follow up the wins of GE 2011?- by making sure the unified message to get 1/3 of opposition seats in Parliament was sabotaged. The result is a PAP majority and veto.
Get over it. You chose to put your lives and every aspect of life in Singapore into the hands of one political party. Ownself fury about ownself choice. Uniquely Singaporean!