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President Cannot Express Public Views on Policy Without Government’s “Advice”: Was Halimah Just a Puppet Then?

RONALD LEE: In censoring presidential election candidate Tan Kin Lian’s speech, the Elections Department and the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) said that explanatory material was issued to candidate stating “specific examples of what the President can and cannot do”.

According to the material:

“Publicly, the President must speak and act in accordance with the advice of the Cabinet, especially when expressing views on legislation or government policy.”

Also according to the material:

“The President cannot express public views on legislation or government policy without being advised to do so by the government.”

In that case, was Mdm Halimah Yacob a puppet advocate for social causes all this while, with the government yanking her chains in whichever direction they wanted?

Was she really a “champion of social causes” as state media so boldly proclaimed?

Did she really believe that rapist over the age of 50 should be caned, as she strongly advocated in 2022?

Did she really believe that changes to the law on retirement and re-employment should not remove protections for older workers?

Or was she just paying lip service because she was “advised” to do so by the government, to fit the government’s agenda?

Ironically, the president is supposed to be the Head of State, but would have less of a voice compared to the ordinary Singaporean, who can cow beh cow bu at any neighbourhood kopitiam?

If this is the case, don’t waste taxpayers’ money and simply appoint a president.

If Singaporeans are asked to elect a president, the president should be a truthful representative of Singaporeans and not a mouthpiece of the government.

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