People's Power Party has issued a statement in response to the recent development of the Presidential Election that will see Mdm Halimah Yacob as the sole candidate for the election and President of Singapore upon nomination day.
The statement was issued by Mr Syafarin Sarif, Chairman of People’s Power Party (PPP).
Below is the statement in full
The Elections Department announced on 11th of September 2017 that Madam Halimah Yacob is set to be the 8th President of the Republic Singapore, having been the only potential candidate to have been issued both the Malay Community Certificate and the Certificate of Eligibility.
This means that the other two presidential hopefuls, Mr Mohamed Salleh Marican and Mr Farid Khan were not successful in their application to stand although both gentlemen had also been issued the Malay Community Certificate each. Both had failed to satisfy the ridiculously stringent criteria imposed upon private sector applicants.
The People’s Power Party (PPP), first of all, would like to express gratitude to both gentlemen who had bravely stepped forward to provide an opportunity for Singapore citizens to choose their next Elected President reserved for the Malay community. Mr Salleh and Mr Farid had subjected themselves to be scrutinised by the public with regard to their “Malayness” since they are of Indian and Pakistani by descent respectively. Madam Halimah, though technically an Indian by descent, have had her “Malayness” certified four times over in general elections previously.
PPP views this latest development of PE2107 as opportunity denied to both private sector candidates since the Presidential Elections Committee (PEC) has discretionary powers. We also note the administrative manipulation of what could have been a participatory democracy.
First and foremost, the virtue of Reserved Presidential Elections had been eclipsed by the notion that the Malays are not capable of winning in an open contest. The Malays of Singapore are actually sick of such tokenism. To add salt to injury, the “Malayness” of Presidential hopefuls are being questioned by the general public and subjected to a special committee to certify that they are Malays.
Mr Salleh and Mr Farid should be lauded as successful self-made men who are truly non-partisan and independent. That cannot be said of Madam Halimah, who, despite of her claim to not be serving any political party after stepping down as Speaker of Parliament just about a month ago, would always be seen to be beholden to her supposedly erstwhile political masters. This indebtedness would forever be etched in the memory of Singapore for generations to come should she submit her nomination forms this Wednesday, 23rd of September 2017.
When victory is declared on a battle not fought, there is no glory nor dignity.
While we could grudgingly accept that this may be a Reserved Presidential Elections for the Malay but we definitely could not agree with the blatant political ploy to turn it into Reserved President for PAP’s Halimah!
While Dr Tony Tan was not the President of 64.8% of Singaporeans who voted against him in PE2011, at the very least he fought a battle and won by 0.35% margin against his closest contender, Dr Tan Cheng Bock.
PPP is disappointed without reservation that the office of the Elected Presidency is once again tweaked in forms and eventually, it denies robust electoral challenge that is the essence of our Democratic guarantee. In our view, Mr Salleh and Mr Farid who are prominent individuals of the Malay community with the exceptional capabilities to perform the role of the Elected President with full competency. The denial of their candidacy is really regrettable.
PPP shares the sentiments of Singapore Malays who feel insulted that they been taken for a ride. The community sees themselves, yet again, as a scapegoat for the political agenda of the Powers That Be. They are the ones paying the ultimate political price. They rightly feel used, betrayed, played out and stupefied now that they bear witness to political gains built upon Malay dignity.
Last but not least, PPP further reiterates that we should not allow electoral rules to be manipulated in such divisive way and the Constitution should not be changed so frequently by the ruling party just to suit their own political agenda. An Independent Commission appointed by the Elected President should look into every attempt of amendment made to the Constitution and the Elected President should also be vested with Veto power to such amendment with the advice of the Commission. Most importantly, we hope that Singaporeans should realize that giving PAP 70% mandate with overwhelming power via the dominance of parliamentary seats will not work in the interests of our Nation. We should deny PAP Two Third Majority in the next General Elections so that they could not just bulldoze any amendment to our Constitution at their fancy. This will ensure a truly fair electoral process and this will enhance the independent role of the Elected Presidency above and beyond partisan politicking.