RONALD LEE: The government has gone on and on about the need for Singapore to have a representative from the Malay community as president.
It has cited barriers, such as Singaporeans’ covert racism. If there are other barriers mentioned, I haven’t heard of them.
But it’s the government itself which reeks of that, not Singaporeans.
Look at the history of the presidential election:
Wee Kim Wee, who has been recognised as Singapore’s first elected president, was a government man.
Then, the government endorsed former DPM and PAP man Ong Teng Cheong for the presidency against Chua Kim Yeow.
Then, along came S R Nathan, also a government-endorsed man.
And instead of pushing for a Malay candidate in the presidential election after, it endorsed Tony Tan.
Where was all the high talk of the need for Malay representation from 1985 till now?
We, the Singaporean public, didn’t put up candidates to contest, we voted for whoever was contesting.
Who the public did vote for was K Murali to beat veteran opposition leader Chee Soon Juan in Bukit Batok.
Who the public did vote for was the disgraced Michael Palmer in Punggol East.
We aren’t the blinkered ones – time and again when given the choice between a minority race candidate and a Chinese candidate, we’ve shown we aren’t afraid to vote the minority into office.
The government can say that their wins were due to their calibre and the backing of the PAP brand.
Then why not stick the PAP brand behind a government-endorsed Malay candidate and put that man (or woman) in a fair and open fight?
Unless, the government is not really worried about racism, but the raging embarrassment of a loss?
The government can throw one poll at us and say, “See, you actually are racist, just that you don’t know it.”
Almost all the US polls showed a comfortable, or at least, a clear win for Hillary Clinton.
We saw what happened next.