Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon has reserved judgment on former presidential candidate Dr Tan Cheng Bock’s appeal against the basis of the upcoming Presidential Election being “reserved” for Malay candidates only.
Dr Tan’s appeal was head this morning by a 5-judge panel of the apex court, which included CJ Menon.
The hearing has been adjourned.
Dr Tan had contested the timing and grounds for PE2017 being a reserved election, claiming that the timing of it is wrong and that the government had acted erroneously on advice by the Attorney-General’s Chambers.
The AGC had recommended that PE2017 be reserved for Malay candidates only as President Wee Kim Wee should be considered the first elected president.
However, Dr Tan claims that Dr Ong Teng Cheong should be considered the first elected president, which would make the next Presidential Election a “reserved” election.
Dr Tan argued that Mr Ong was the first Singapore president elected in an open election, and therefore should be considered Singapore’s first elected president.
However, his earlier legal challenge was dismissed on the grounds that parliament had the discretion to decide which presidential terms to take into account when deciding on Singapore’s first elected president as that was a “policy decision” which falls outside of the court’s jurisdiction.
Historical records from government sources appear to support Dr Tan’s legal challenge, having widely recognised Mr Ong as Singapore’s first elected president.