A Straits Times article, “No let-up in online criticism of uncontested election” by Tham Yuen-C. an assistant Political Editor wrote on the online criticism of uncontested Presidential Election which saw Mdm Halimah Yacob, the sole candidate who received the Certificate of Eligibility, to be declared as the 8th President of Singapore.
“But the run-up to yesterday was still bruising, with some Singaporeans using hashtags like #notmypresident and #hardlymahpresident – a pun on her name – to protest against not being able to vote.
Asked by reporters yesterday if she was ever demoralised during the process, she said that years of public service had taught her to focus on her goals and objectives – the most important being to improve the lives of people.”
Tham wrote that the uncontested election sparked criticism from “some” Singaporeans, who took to social media to express their disappointment. Noting many online critics were not upset with Madam Halimah, but were unhappy with the state of affairs.
In one of the many comments at ST’s Facebook post which noted the citizens’ displeasure over the rigged election, one commenter, Randall Tay wrote:
This is not about hashtags and life mottos. The relentless barrage of criticism from Singaporeans is not because Mdm. Yacob is not the right person for the job, she may yet prove to be a great public servant for the people. My issue here is why, from the people’s perspective, does it seem that she was ushered to the seat, a not-so-quiet confidence that “Madam President, sorry Mdm Speaker” will be the next President even before the elections.
How do we justify that a person from the private sector who handles less than the average of $500 million worth of shareholders’ equity but nevertheless a profitable company is less qualified to be the President of the Republic of Singapore.
We cannot wrap our heads around the fact that in our multi-racial, multi-religious society, removed from politics, this close-knitted environment we have forged throughout the years, that we have to succumb to a reserved Presidency, that we the People of Singapore, are unable to look pass race or religion to make the right choice. I trust that Mdm. Yacob, with her years of service for the people, would have been able to prove her credentials under a normal Presidential election.
Let us not forget our roots, we pride ourselves on being a society built on peace and harmony based on justice and equality regardless of race, language or religion. We should not allow a reserved Presidency to devalue what we hold dear.
We only seek to understand the rationale behind this. All these resentment, they are just Singaporeans venting their frustrations. But honestly, we are filled with disappointment. Disappointed that after 52 years of nation-building, we cannot be trusted to make a sound judgement on who we feel would best serve the interests of the people and of Singapore.