Tan Kin Lian, George Yeo, Tan Cheng Bock or Ooi Boon Ewe?
Notwithstanding that our President is quite overpaid, I think Singaporeans should really understand what the President’s role is before deciding whom to vote for.
Our President has only very limited executive powers, really. He can block the drawdown of past reserves by the current Govt. And he can also block key Civil Service appointments.
That’s about it really.
On everything else, he has to act on the advice of the Cabinet.
Hence, the main quality one should look for in our President is impartiality.
The President should thus not be a “Govt-endorsed” or “PAP-endorsed” figure. Inderjit Singh is wrong in this. Indeed, far from enhancing his stature, a “Govt-endorsed” or “PAP-endorsed” figure will lose credibility, because he’ll be perceived as lacking impartiality.
That’s why I don’t favour candidates who resign from PAP just before contesting the Presidential Election. How can we be sure that such candidates are not still pro-PAP at heart? Can a person turn from a pro-PAP member of over 20 years to a non-partisan figure overnight?
By the same token, the President should not be anti-PAP. Someone like Chee Soon Juan or even Low Thia Kiang would not make a good President, because it is not the job of the President to oppose the PAP.
Hence, I don’t support those who try to show anti-PAP they’ve become since leaving the PAP, how they’ve never toed the party line. Because this job is not about how anti-PAP a person is, this job is to keep out of politics completely, and to make decisions independently and impartially, without any bias.
No, the President should be a unifying figure, someone both PAP and “opposition” supporters can both rally behind. Ideally he would be like the Thai King, who has no legal power but possesses great moral authority and commands deep respect. He should be seen as someone absolutely impartial and non-partisan, who is accepted by people of all political affiliations.
Tan Kin Lian? George Yeo? Tan Cheng Bock? Ooi Boon Ewe?
Now that I’ve explained what this role entails, who do you think fits the bill?