by Lim Tean, lawyer and political activist
Over the weekend , the Mainstream Media was suggesting that perhaps there is no need for a contest in the upcoming Presidential Election and that the reserved Election promotes multi-culturalism.
What utter nonsense!
This reserved Election has already gone down as the most despised, ridiculed and discredited election in Singapore history. It has set back the Singapore identity and race relations by 50 years. It has laid to waste all the efforts at Nation building for the past half a century, all for the sake of political expediency by the establishment.
The Singapore identity meant amongst other things, that when it is a question of putting one person before another in positions of public responsibility , what counts is not membership of a particular class but the actual ability which the man possesses . That Singapore identity has been totally shredded by this reserved election.
The Establishment uses euphemisms such as promoting multi-culturalism to camouflage the racial ugliness of their stratagem . Multi-culturalism is always inclusive and never exclusive , which sadly is what the reserved election is all about .
Halimah Yacob says that the reserved election is still meritocratic because all the candidates have to meet the same qualification criteria. No Madam. A meritocratic system is one where other races are not excluded from being elected President . You are participating in a “handicapped” election where other races are excluded in favour of a particular race. It is comparable to the US Masters Golf tournament being reserved only for Black golfers in a particular year. Tiger Woods did not require such a handicap competition to win the Masters in 1997 or 13 other major championships, and countless other tournaments throughout the world. Neither did Barack Obama require a reserved Election to become the first Black American President in 2008 , an achievement which was thought well-nigh impossible just 2 years earlier.
For those who suggest there is no need for a contest, I have this to say. Whoever becomes the next President of Singapore has already become so diminished by this whole absurd saga. To even begin to salvage a modicum of respect for a hollowed out Office requires the person to win the command and respect of the Singapore people in a proper contest. If there is a walkover, there will be no mandate or respect from Singaporeans for this President , who will assume Office on 14 September as the lamest of ducks!
This was first published at Lim Tean’s Facebook page.