Im not that fired up on the upcoming Presidential Election. I know some of my friends are grateful that we now can have a Malay President after 50 years. We now can see photos of a Malay President and a Malay First Lady in every government buildings. Let’s not miss the forest for the trees.
There are fundamental issues that need to be addressed with regards to reserving the presidential election for Malay candidates.
1. This gov has put out of reach the aspirations of Singaporeans from being the president. It has implemented some strict conditions where most probably only the top 1% of the population is eligible, perpetuating an elitist society
2. It has made changes to the President’s role that there is not much the president can decide on its own discretion. Council of Presidential Advisers (CPA) can override the President. Parliament can override the President. President to consult CPA. In the end, the President is a ‘lame-duck’
3. Reserving this presidential election for Malay candidates posed a few problems. It gives out the notion that the Malays cannot stand on its own merits and win the election fair and square.
It is condescending and reek of tokenism when at the same breadth, minorities are not allowed to assume the position of Prime Minister
4. It goes against the grain of meritocracy. It places the Malay community as a pawn in a chess game. To be used only when needed.
If the above points cannot be seen by those rejoicing for joy on the prospect of getting a Malay President, then as a whole, we deserve to be minions.
Khan Osman Sulaiman