Dr Tan Cheng Bock’s Constitutional Challenge On Reserved EP: High Court Reserves Judgement

The High Court reserved its judgement on Dr Tan Cheng Bock’s constitutional challenge against the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) over the timing for the reserved presidential election, after a 3.5 hour closed-door hearing on Thursday (June 29).

Justice Quentin Loh is expected to deliver his decision in a week or so, Deputy Attorney-General Hri Kumar Nair, representing AGC, and Dr Tan’s lawyer Chelva Retnam Rajah told reporters after the court session.

Last month, Dr Tan filed a legal challenge against the AGC’s findings that Dr Wee Kim Wee was Singapore’s first elected President, which formed the basis for the Government to trigger a reserved election for Malay candidates for the coming polls in September.

Among the various changes to the Elected Presidency scheme – passed in November last year – was triggering a reserved election for a particular race that has not seen an elected representative for five consecutive terms.

The Government, on the advice of AGC, started counting the five terms from Dr Wee’s presidency.

The late Dr Wee was the first President to exercise powers under the EP scheme, after it was introduced in 1991 while Dr Wee was in office.

But Dr Tan, who was contesting the constitutionality of reserving the upcoming presidential election for Malay candidates, argued that the Government should have started counting from the late Mr Ong Teng Cheong, who succeeded Dr Wee. This would make it four terms since the Republic has had an elected Malay President.

The upcoming presidential polls should, therefore, be an open election, he said, in a press conference on the same issue in March.


Source: www.todayonline.com

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