The death of Othman Wok being a trusted Malay of LKY’s era will invite some controversy. The State assisted funeral, the ongoing tributes on TV and the press are expected. The Govt must surely remember and celebrate the Malay man that became the face they wanted for the community.
His passing is not planned but may be a timely coincident in light of the upcoming Malay reserved Presidential election scheduled in September. Rumours are going around that the choice is between Halimah or Zainul. Either one will soften the Malay ground which may not in truth be as eagerly embracing the idea of a Malay President, not under the circumstances it did. On paper Halimah may offer additional appeasement value being the first woman President, a Malay and a Tudung wearing one too. These are definite emotional winners on the heart strings of the Malays.
Already the regional Malay crowd are warming up and not so quietly curious about this prospect and some even jumped the gun in excitedly running full page article about the potential new Woman Malay President of Singapore with a tactful jibe to the affirmative action footnote of we are right afterall, since Singapore also do it, rhetoric.
The opening of the Yusuf Ishak Mosque in Woodlands also was a landmark event attended by top Govt officials including the PM for the first President namesake Mosque that clearly is another softening the Malay ground exercise. Other than the untoward controversy over the pulpit design, the event was definitely helpful towards winning mostly hearts and some minds.
Soon Ramadan will come and than its Hari Raya Puasa followed by Hari Raya Haji. These back to back religious and festive moods are blessings for the Govt leading up to the September vote if there is a vote. Most Malays by then would have somewhat come around and accepted the Malay President with our trademark nonchalant just accept it lah tolerant mindset, and move on.
Looks like come September, the Malay President is game set and match. You got to give it to them, another brilliant political masterstroke from the Govt.
Source: Damanhuri Bin Abas