A passionate yet disappointed Singaporean took to Mdm Halimah's Facebook page and posted a comment on a recent posting to express her disappointment over the reserved Presidential Election (PE).
Serene Ng wrote,
"Dear Madam, I personally have nothing against you, it's the process that made you president which made me disappointed. I was once a proud Singaporean, glad to share and bask in the glory of our forefathers. How we made it through those troubling years and times, I even had immense respect for the current ruling party.
However, ever since the moment they announced that they were going to do a reserved election, my heart sank a little. Is this the party that truly represented democracy? The party that promised progress together? Then when they changed the eligibility criteria, my heart sank even further, it's near impossible to even find any Singaporean with more than $500 million worth of equities &/or assets.
And when Dr Tan Cheng Bock (TCB) raised this whole issue to court on behalf of the many citizens who were questioning it too, the court simply dismissed it, which made me question, where did our justice and equality go? When I saw that there were 2 other candidates who submitted their forms, my hopes went up, perhaps I will be able to see some form of competition, be able to enjoy the greatness of democracy, the power to exercise my right as a citizen.
However, now, I'm just sorely disappointed and sad that things have turned out this way. No longer the Singapore that I was once proud of, and it will probably take a lot more to try to make me feel proud of her once again.
Deep down inside, I really wish that, before you step in and officially accept the role, please do something that will at least appease the Singaporeans who are equally as disappointed as me in this entire process. I beseech you to do something, so that I can truly say from the bottom of my heart that you are my elected president. Thank you."
Another commenter, Debbie Chan replied Ng's comment,
The reserved PE was due to the fact tt we hadn't had a Malay President n based on Malays being a minority grp , it will be arduous for a Malay candidate to vie with a maybe Chinese candidate. I think the candidate from the minority grps also wouldn't want to waste their deposits.
People from all races are like brothers n sisters ...like how our colleague from the different races , help and work with one another . Lest you hope to be President , there is no heart sinking cos Halimah Yacob is a good choice of a female President and she will surely make a milestone.
Why do you feel less proud of a Singaporean when Farid and Marican hadn't met the PE criteria , leaving Halimah a walkover . If she had known, would she be meeting up with all the unions , labour movements , clans , business association n etcs... Basically she touched base with all her contacts to let them know that she would be CONTESTING .
Ng replied Debbie Chan,
"...from the very beginning the idea of a reserved PE was wrong to begin with, if there were any eligible Singaporeans who wished to run for the role of president, they should do it based on capabilities, and I'm all the more even sure that we would look at their capabilities and history before their race and then hearing what they have to say and hope to do.
I was proud of the fact that we recited our pledge everyday in the morning during morning parades. I would be proudly reciting the pledge alongside with my fellow Singaporeans on national day, being proud of the fact that our government is committed to it as well. Showing us that they are committed to it, providing help and aid to anyone who needs it.
However, with the introduction of reserved PE, where have the regardless of race, language or religion gone? Then with the introduction of $500m shareholder equity for at least 3 years for private candidates and 3 years of serving office for public servants, where have the justice and equality gone in this?
Similarly as mentioned in my initial comment, when people raised their concerns, TCB represented the citizens and raised it to court, twice in fact, and both counts were dismissed, then truly, where has the justice gone in this? And finally when the president hopefuls submitted their forms, it was still uncertain if they qualified, we were hoping to see if they truly wanted to uphold their democracy promise. And sadly that did not come true, and everything that we recite in the pledge itself is missing in this whole process of electing a president.
I have no doubt that she is a capable person, however with a process that breaks the very fundamental of our pledge, which is the essence of our Singaporean spirit. Then don't you think, as a President who is elected this way, where the process don't commit itself to the pledge, and as a president who is the very national identity of Singapore, wouldn't it be sad when the identity itself is not associated to the national pledge in any way at all? How would you then win the support of the people? How would you then ask the people to work together with you? When in fact, the whole process created all these doubts."
There is yet to be any response from Mdm Halimah or her Facebook admin on the comments posted.
Editor's note - "I think the candidate from the minority grps also wouldn't want to waste their deposits.", if one qualifies as a CEO for a company with $500 million shareholders equity, surely the deposit would be seen as small change for the individual.