Businessman, Farid Khan who had expressed his intention to stand in the Presidential Election 2017 and was disqualified by the Presidential Election Committee for not meeting the criteria of $500 million shareholders equity, has just issued a letter to congratulate Mdm Halimah Yacob for being elected as President of Singapore and to share his experience over the past two months with his supporters and his pre-election campaign trail.
Below is his letter in full
Dear friends and supporters
Thank you all for your support and encouragement. Without you, I would not have even thought of being here today. I also want to first thank my campaign and media team and all the supporters who have put in a lot of effort to prepare for my candidacy for the Elected Presidency. Your efforts and generosity are infectious and heart-warming, and inspired me to persevere in this bid.
Even though I may not have the opportunity to run for this Presidency, somehow I still have gained so much and that is probably why I still feel victorious today. For I have gained the love of Singaporeans and it has reinforced my belief in Singapore and Singaporeans as a nation, a society and a community. Over these last two months, many Singaporeans have come forward to show support either by helping me in my journey from the frontline, supporting from behind the scenes and even linking me up with others, who provided guidance and support. Thank everyone for your kind support and encouragement.
I came forward to put myself up for the EP as a duty to our country – what I consider my obligation to do so. When the constitution was changed making this PE a reserved one for the Malay community, I realized the number of potential candidates will be limited because of the stringent criteria to qualify. I felt I made the mark based on the financial standing of my regional companies.
I also felt that I had to come forward for the sake of the Malay community so that Singaporeans see that there are qualified Malay candidates who are willing to serve the country in the highest office of the country. In this regard, by doing so, we can be an example to younger generations to have high aspirations. That is very much a part of the Singapore story – to be able to dream big.
I was born and grew up in Singapore. From my background you can see that I had difficult beginnings. I understand the challenges my fellow Singaporeans face as we become a developed nation. My aim as the president of Singapore would have been to continue to listen to my fellow Singaporeans and communicate with the government what these challenges are.
I saw it as my duty to serve the country if elected as the president of Singapore and I would have worked with the government, and I believe a strong, independent, neutraland capable President is what we need during good and bad times especially in safeguarding the reserves and appointing top civil servants.
I believe that the president must be a unifying force for all races and people of all backgrounds. With my background and beliefs, I would have been able to bring all Singaporeans together and build on the daily pledge we recite – “… regardless of race, language, and religion, … to achieve happiness, prosperity and progress for our nation”. I would have aimed for us to make our pledge a core value that each Singaporean believes in so that we can build a stronger and more cohesive society and a united nation.
Although, I was looking forward for a contest, but with a heavy heart and great disappointment , I accept the decision of the PEC disqualifying me from participating in the EP. As I mentioned, I came forward to serve my country if given the opportunity. I have always done what I can for my community and for Singapore and I will continue to do my part to serve my country.
I wish Mdm Halimah Yacob all the best, and I hope that she will have the people of Singapore in her thoughts when making any decisions that will affect our lives and the lives of our children.
To my wife and two children, thank you very much for being my pillars of support. I love the three of you and I hope you will be proud of me stepping forward. May we be blessed with the strength to serve our nation always.
To my fellow Singaporeans, thank you for the opportunity and for the support shown to me in the past two months. Thank you, Singapore!