I understand views from both sides, one asking to spoil votes and the other not to spoil it. Just thought of sharing one prospect which I feel very important. I feel this prospect can lay a very important and deep root principle in the future presidential elections.
Mr. Salleh has declared that he will donate all his salary if he wins. For one, if he wins, some deserved charities or people will get help. What is more important is that a President is serving for free becomes an essential rooted principle lay down by Singaporeans to future eligible presidential candidates. To win, you must be prepared to serve for free. It becomes a natural requirement. It also debunks the myth that public office holders must be very well paid to do the job well.
G can change the constitution but Singaporeans can have our say too. It’s an opportunity for Singaporeans to cultivate this principle and requirement. If things are not to be, it is also unlikely to be with spoilt votes. Remember the Malaysia referendum. Not now but Next GE or PE? There is never a good time.
I don’t agree with this reserved election too. But the argument that it is illegitimate will be easily refuted because the Constitution does allow for amendments when they have 2/3 majority. Yes, rules were changed to diminish opponents’ chances but people should still contest strategically and tactically to attempt to win grounds bit by bit.
It is a very long process. History shows what happened when the contest is abandoned aka Barisan Socialis boycotting Parliament and GE. I do not advocate or support such tactics because it just falls right into the laid trap of stereotyping oppositions as counter productive, combative and harmful.
Singaporeans can turn this into an opportunity to instill our requirement in EPs. If the candidate(s) who will donate all their salary wins, future candidates will pledge the same in order to win. We instill this culture of serving as EP and donating all salary.
While we can continue to express our disagreement and one day abolish this reserved election, let’s contest and fight to embed this ‘donate all salary’ culture instead of abandoning the battlefield. Vote candidates who donate all their salaries.