The roles of the president have been clearly stated and explained by so many political luminaries, including Jayakumar. Among the 5 discretionary custodial duties is the protection of reserves.
Nathan has been quoted in the media that he had done a lot, quietly, as the President. Presumably he must have done all that is expected of his 5 discretionary custodial duties exemplarily. While the current attention is on the new candidates to assume the office of the Presidency, would the people be interested to know how well he has done, quietly, all these 12 years as the President? Or would the people be interested to know how much has he done to protect the reserves?
One of the fundamental questions raised during Ong Teng Cheong’s Presidency was the value of the reserves. He wanted to know how much or what he was supposed to guard. Without knowing how much was there in the reserves, it was woolly woolly for him to be able to protect it. Maybe I am wrong. He did not need to know how much there was to protect. All he needed to know was that it was one of his major duties as the President, to hold the second key.
Of course Teng Cheong would not accept that kind of logic. He must know what he was guarding and how much was there to protect in the first place. The stumbling block was that it would take 52 man years to know the exact amount.
Nathan has been the President for 12 years. This is still short of 40 years to reach the magical number of 52 years. Does it mean that it will take another 40 years to churn out the numbers? Apologies, I think another 40 years will be just right for the final numbers to be known. But that is for one man to work on it full time.
I am not sure how many men are working on it to produce the numbers for the guardian. Does the President know the numbers already, or would he be able to tell the people how many more years before the numbers will be available? Any progress been made in this as it is the first thing that any president guarding the reserves must know?