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Appalling that People’s Favourite Tan Cheng Bock has Been Disqualified from Contesting the Presidency

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 in the public and private sectors. Is is warranted that the government shift the goal post such that a man of such accomplishments, a people’s favourite, be barred from running for election one more time?

In that case, the government might as well scrap the PE altogether. There’s no point in telling people that we want a president that has the mandate of the people, but fence up the contest such that only those it deems worthy can put up a fight.

All that ends up with is someone like Tan Kin Lian, who only won 5 percent of the vote in PE2011, being able to contest – someone who people clearly people don’t want as president given their voting patterns.

The forcing through of an election for minorities only is, in my opinion, an additional layer of security in case Dr Tan Cheng Bock manages to find a way to wriggle in despite the tougher eligibility criteria. If it really is the case, all the more the whole PE should be scrapped and cabinet or parliament should just appoint a president.

It’s absurd that someone so well-loved by the people should now get the boot with the shift in goalposts. If all this does come to pass, I would rather vote to scrap my vote than to have it curtailed in such a way.

After all, it’s not worth the paper it’s written on.


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