Lim Tean, Tan Kin Lian, Syafarin Sarif and I had started the initiative to publish a Non-Partisan Joint Statement in support of Dr Tan Cheng Bock's challenge of the Constitutional change to enforce Reserved Elected Presidency based on dubious grounds.
We have come together as a group of concerned Singaporeans, from diverse walks in life and from a wide political spectrum, to ask Singaporeans to stand up and to protect our Constitution from constant manipulation by the PAP government to suit their selfish political needs.
We are pleased to note that Dr Tan Cheng Bock has mounted a judicial challenge to the constitutionality of the next Presidential Election being a reserved election. Even if it is now the law that there must be a reserved election for a particular racial group if no one from that group has been President after 5 continuous terms, it is clear to everyone of us that only the Presidential election of 2023 need be a reserved election. The next Presidential election in September this year should be an open election as there have been only 4 elected Presidents since the Elected Presidency scheme came into effect, with Mr Ong Teng Cheong being our first elected President. We do not know of any ordinary Singaporean who has taken an opposing view.
Since the PAP Government insists that the upcoming Presidential election is a reserved election under the Presidential Elections (Amendment) Act 2017, the burden was on them to explain to the Singapore people the basis of their decision. It was incumbent upon them to produce the advice which they said they had obtained from the Attorney-General, which formed the basis of their decision. This is no different to a judge having to give his reasons for a decision made by him. It was important for the Government to have made known the reasoning behind the Attorney-General’s advice because the Attorney-General’s advice does not constitute the law of the land and is open to challenge by way of Judicial Review.