by Augustine Low
We can trust him with veto powers over the use of national reserves and the appointments of key positions in the civil service and statutory boards. We can look to him to be the People’s President.
If we want a non-puppet for President, Justice Chan Seng Onn is the man.
In acquitting Parti Liyani of theft at the home of Liew Mun Leong, Justice Ong was without fear or favour. His 104-page judgement was scathing of the Liew family and scathing of how the case was handled.
Justice Chan was among the class of 1972 President’s Scholars – the year that produced many well-known personalities. His fellow scholars that year included Senior Minister Teo Chee Hean, former Ministers George Yeo and Lim Hng Kiang and Lee Wei Ling, estranged sister of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
Wei Ling wrote about it in one of her newspaper columns: “I was among 11 students in the class of 1972 who received the scholarship . . . Three – Teo Chee Hean, George Yeo and Lim Hng Kiang – were also Singapore Armed Forces scholars. As many Singaporeans know, the trio became household names after they entered politics and rose to become senior Cabinet ministers. A fourth boy, Chan Seng Onn, is currently a Supreme Court justice.”
Justice Chan came from a poor family. His father was a sewage pump attendant and his mother a housewife.
He once said of his parents: “Even though they were not very well educated and were financially constrained, they had a strong sense of right and wrong. They imparted the right values to us.”
Incidentally, the trio of Justice Chan, Anil Balchandani, defence counsel for Parti Liyani, and Liew Mun Leong have something in common: they are all engineers by training.
Justice Chan and Balchandani both switched mid-career to law while Liew turned businessman. The difference is that while two of them engineered their rise to public acclaim, the third one engineered his own downfall.
Anyway, who better than the man of the moment to be the next President of our country?
When the time comes, just remember to give it a shout – Justice Chan Seng Onn for President. The people ought to have a say.
Correction: Lee Bee Wah was incorrectly stated as a former MP