When her father and CEO of Second Chance Properties Mohd Salleh Marican told her late last year that he intended to run for president, Nadia Marican laughed at the idea of becoming a member of Singapore’s First Family.
But Salleh’s eldest daughter and her other family members realised that the 67-year-old patriarch was serious about his presidential bid. They rallied around him and began to plan for his election campaign. Even the current fasting month is not slowing their momentum.
Her brother-in-law Ferus Bakar is overseeing Salleh’s media communication plans while she and her younger sister Radiah Marican, 40, are acting as their father’s personal assistants in the campaign.
Nadia, who is currently pursuing a PhD in International Psychology at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology, said that her father has a good chance of winning the election. Wearing a navy blue midi dress, Nadia was joined by Radiah and Salleh during the interview at her house in the eastern part of Singapore.
Salleh’s campaign kicked off on 5 June 2017, when he collected his presidential election forms at the Elections Department (ELD). But Salleh was sidetracked afterwards by the online criticisms of his lack of proficiency in the Malay language.
Nadia said that the Marican family was prepared for negative reactions from some netizens. “It was so vicious that we were surprised at first. But personally, I think they are trolls,” she added.
Qualities of being a “good president”
When asked about her father’s attributes that would put him in good stead to be the President of Singapore, Nadia was effusive in her praise for him.
“The majority of Singaporeans prefer their president to be apolitical and my father represents that. I am confident that he stands a good chance, given that he is a man of honour and integrity and has the leadership qualities to be president,” said Nadia.
“He has a pragmatic approach to life and has a soft heart. He is a man who is generous in sharing knowledge with others. These are the qualities needed for a president,” she added.
Also, Salleh’s ability to turn around his company when the odds were stacked against him could inspire Singaporeans and convince them that he is the right man to become a “People’s President”, Nadia said.
“If he wins, I will be the proudest daughter in the world. Who knows, maybe the tea party in the (Istana) garden might come true!” she quipped.