Falling strawmen

The first strawman to fall in our political system is the GRC. Just like the impregnable mothership of the movie Independence Day, the weakness of the GRC is fully exposed and can be brought down. In the next GE, the ministers will be shivering, who will go next. And by the look of things, many will go down with the GRC in the present form.

We are now looking at another strawman bending with the wind, the elected Presidency. With $24m and more to take, hardly anyone is showing interest. For those who have come forward, they brought along a history that are not necessarily welcomed by all the people. Sure, a few will have their diehard fans, converts and cheer leaders edging them on as if the whole island is for them. The truth is further out there in the whole population.

Why is such an honourable office finding so few takers? Okay, 95% or more of the people have already been pre disqualified by the elitist criteria. All men are equal, many are less equal. The criteria is dismissive, with a stroke of the pen, the majority of the people are ruled as not good enough, and their rights as a citizen is limited, not fit to be President of the country.

As a NSman, trained and fit to fight for the country, to die for the country, why is he unfit to stand for the highest office in the land? He is prepared to stake his life for the people and country, defend its honour and freedom, why is he NG? All because he did not have the chance to be a top civil servant, a top politician or the CEO of a big corporation? Can the people accept these criteria lying down? They did, and still not questioning, and keeping mum.

Who is in a position to deprive all the honest and respectable citizens from running for the highest office in the country? A higher being?


Anonymous said...

Bravo! Well said.

The other issue is political neutrality of the President.

My only questions are;
a)Is a person politically neutral just because he resigns his long standing political party membership?

b)Does the President need to be politically neutral?

After all, President Obama does not have to resign from his Democrat Party.

c)Can a candidate endorsed by a political party ever be politically neutral?

d)How do we define political neutrality?

I just find the last minute act of resigning from a long held political party membership to "prove political neutrality" a bit of a wayang.

e)If political neutrality is that important, then a candidate should not be a political party member for at least 1 year. As part of qualifying criteria.

If neutrality not important, then let them keep their political party membership.

Anonymous said...

Very good questions. Remove the badge and immediately becomes a clean slate, a new man. What a joke.

No they do not want a politically neutral candidate. They want a candidate sponsored by the ruling party. That's is why Tan Cheng Bock is awkward.

Anonymous said...

If the Qualifications to Candidacy of the President is set by A(single) RULING Political PARTY, how 'neutral' can the Conditions(qualifications) be???
Why are the Qualifications not set by the Judiciary?
Why are Cabinet Members not sworn in by the Judiciary as well? The President Of Sin has never been perceived to be 'politically' neutral by the Local and may I say that foreigners familiar with Sin Affairs will hold similar views as Singaporeans as well.
And no, the President Of Sin is not holding the Highest Office in Sin, it is a window dressing piece. Without the piece, the view through the window will be better. Anyway, with or without make no difference to the People of Sin.

Anonymous said...

Cut the pay to zero. And take care of all living and ex-living presidents housing (GCB), medical, all expenses needs till death.
This is a good honorable way for the Top Public Servant.

Any Singaporean, without a criminal record, can take part in Presidential election; deposit $50,000. Deposit forfeit if do not get votes above 20% of total votes.
Pay a small price to participate & cut out the frivolous.

Anonymous said...

First they say, let's give the President power to protect the reserves. In the past, the position was just a figurehead, but they tried to make the position very important by giving the President power. But, we Singaporeans, after Ong Teng Cheong tried to exercise those powers, know what kind of power our President is really endowed with.

Then they say, if it is power of protecting the reserves, which is the people's money, the President must be a very qualified person and of immaculate standing. No ordinary Tom, Dick or Harry, and as Redbean pointed out, 95% or even 99% are automatically ineligible.

Then they say, to be considered qualified, the aspiring candidate for President must be a person who must have been holding high position, be managing huge sums of money, blah blah blah. Put it simply, those running for President must be someone approved by the PAP and all others must be discarded as unsuitable for failure to satisfy any of the thousand and one reasons. Of course they cannot say it directly that the PAP must approve the candidate, but who select those people on the council approving the candidates? Your guess is as good as mine.

You see, everything is done according to the law, by the book, totally transparent and above board.

Anonymous said...

Since there is a roti prata president, what is there to stop a satay man or a bachor mee citizen from standing for election as a president. The criteria for the presidency should not be set or dictated by just any single person or any single party. It should be tabled and discussed by all political parties and the citizens and should be adopted only through a referendum. sg

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

The criteria for EP is just another self serving logic.

Anonymous said...

Its an excellent article ; very good points .. why Singaporeans feel so angry about this meaningless president position but cannot do anything