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RONALD LEE: The Singapore government is mooting the idea of making the coming Presidential Election a one-race race. Its justification is that minorities must be given a leg up because the majority can be racist when picking our leaders. The government has been proven wrong. This study done by Blackbox Research and commissioned by Yahoo earlier this month shows that 69 percent of 897 respondents,...

RONALD LEE: The ink has barely dried on the White Paper, but we’re more or less certain by now that Dr Tan Cheng Bock won’t be in the running come the next Presidential Election. Dr Tan won 738,311 vote in PE2011. He lost by less than 1 percent to Dr Tony Tan. Clearly, this is a man who’s got the support from a large segment of the population. Dr Tan has also got an illustrious career...

A majority of Singaporeans don’t feel that it’s a must that a person from a minority group be accorded greater chances to become president. This was what Blackbox Research discovered in a survey of 2688 persons. Only 23 percent of those polled said that it’s “absolutely necessary” to ensure that minorities get greater opportunities to become president. The remaining 77 percent either said...

The Workers’ Party’s Gerald Giam has advised young Singaporeans to read beyond what’s reported in the news and make their own judgments on motivations when it comes to policy changes. He was speaking at the WP Youth Wing’s monthly Youth Hangouts sessions. One of the issues Mr Giam touched on was the touchy issue of potential changes to the criteria for qualification of the...

SingFirst chief Tan Jee Say has criticised the CPF Investment Scheme as having failed in its objective to enhance retirement savings of its members. Mr Tan, a former Presidential Election candidates and Principal Private Secretary to ex-PM Goh Chok Tong, said that changes must be made to the rate of return for the benefit of Singaporeans. His criticism was in response to DPM Tharman Shanmugaratnam’s...

ELSON: If the government goes ahead with invoking a provision that will make the coming Presidential Election a “Malays need apply only” election, then it’s very likely we’re going to see a walkover. I say this based on historical trends. No need to look too far, a simple Wikipedia check will show this: Look at the eligible candidates dating back to 1993. The PAP-endorsed...

HAROLD CHAI: It’s good that the Workers’ Party’s Chen Show Mao has clarified the reason for his stepping down as party treasurer. Apparently, it’s because his tenure ended, as he explained: “I did not quit or resign, but have stepped down from the post in accordance with the terms of my appointment. At the time of my appointment three months ago, it was agreed with the CEC,...

In the latest sign of underlying tensions in the Workers’ Party camp, Chen Show Mao has quit as party treasurer after serving his 2nd term in the position for just 3 months. Secretary-General Low Thia Khiang has confirmed his resignation from the post, but he still remains a member of the party’s Central Executive Council. Mr Chen, and MP for Aljunied GRC, resigned from the treasurer’s position...

RONALD LEE: I believe the Prime Minister (seen here in 1970 with President Yusof Ishak) when he talks about Singapore needing a president from the minority race. To say that the government is gunning for a Malay president come 2017 is an open secret. That’s not a bad thing. With the bar set even higher for the coming PE, whoever becomes president, whether Chinese, Malay, Indian or Eurasian will...

Veteran politician Dr Tan Cheng Bock lost to current President Dr Tony Tan by a 34.85 percent to 35.20 percent margin back in the2011 Presidential Election. That’s how popular he was. While he has declared his intention to contest again in 2017, it looks like changes to the qualification criteria will make him ineligible to put up a fight. To qualify, Dr Tan must meet these criteria: (1) Served...

The government has accepted in principle recommendations to the changes in the election presidency, which were put up in a report yesterday. This means that its being set in stone is a formality away. Here are the most important changes you need to know about (especially before you punch the air and shout “Tan Cheng Bock” because it looks like he can’t qualify after these changes). (1)...

ELSON: Barry would have difficulty becoming president today if he was Singaporean instead of American. It isn’t about skin colour or race anymore, but the qualifying conditions that make it almost impossible for many to even qualify to contest for the head of state position. Back in 2005, the Prime Minister’s press secretary estimated that only 700 to 800 people could potentially meet the...

Is Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong desperate for a minority president to get elected after Tony Tan’s reign? The PM has given what looks to be the clearest hint of proposed changes to the law to guarantee that ethnic minorities are elected president from time to time. In an interview on race and politics with MediaCorp over the weekend, he said that a special provision may need to be used if there...

RONALD LEE: He seemed gleeful, almost, that PM Lee took a tumble. Even though Reform Party chief Kenneth Jeyaretnam later deleted his tweet which had much of the public within both the opposition and Men in White ranks crying foul, the damage was done. Yet, Kenneth J had a point, though his way of putting it across wasn’t exactly the most tactful for the situation – you can’t mock...