Can the President speak?

Elgin Toh talks about the right of free speech by the Elected President in his article in the ST today. Apparently, the official position is that the EP has no right to speak independently as a President. This is what the Prime Minister’s Office said, ‘It is not the president’s role to support or oppose the govt of the day or to advance his own agenda or policies’. Shanmugam was also quoted as saying, ‘National policies and running of the Govt are the responsibility of the prime minister and Cabinet…’

So, if the governing of the country is none of the EP’s concern, does he have a right to speak for or against govt policies? It is not his role to support or oppose? What does this mean? He cannot talk about them except speaking neutrally or no comments?

He is not allowed to have his own agenda or policies. It is as good as saying, please shut up. Let’s gag the President. I am in favour of it as he is basically a ceremonial piece, good for waving hands during National Days or shaking hands with foreign dignitaries and the people visiting the Istana grounds and engages in the exchanges of pleasantries. No, he can be an extension of the govt, by speaking in favour of govt policies and agenda. He can also promote trades!

Why the hell is the President being paid $4m annually, and maybe another 10 or 20 mths of bonuses when he is just what he is constitutionally, a rubber stamp? How to justify this kind of obscene pay?


Anonymous said...

It is the rule... cannot speak of the affairs of the govt.

just call for abloishment of office, a drain on tax payer.

Anonymous said...

A Russian proverb goes like this:

If you are a rooster, crow. If you are a hen, shut up and lay eggs.

Which of these do you think is our EP like?

Anonymous said...

Best job in the world! Period.

Anonymous said...

Will you vote for any President hopeful who says he cannot talk?

Look at TT talking so much.

Anonymous said...

The problem is maybe we do not even have to vote for a President who says that he cannot talk. TT may talk a lot, but hope it is not cock.

Anonymous said...

How to justify this kind of obscene pay?

Aiyoh, Leave it to the PAP. They are called pay and pay not for nothing. Justification is easy. Being convincing is difficult.

Anonymous said...

At last some Singaporeans are awake and slightly more aware of this and that especially the salaries of you know who.
Most of us (incl myself been asleep and boh chap for too long).

But don't know what to do lah about this $ 4m. Maybe the gahmen can explain how figure arrived at.

Anonymous said...

Strange talk going on between the Presidential contenders.

One Tan says he will box only after he is elected.

Another Tan already boxing his way in even before he is elected.

Chubby Tan is now probably considered boxing way above his class, so must be the favourite.

We have never had it so good. I hope more will join in the fun.

Anonymous said...

Can you believe it? Spending more than $4m annually, maybe $10m for a dummy, not allow to speak his mind?

Anonymous said...

You pay me $4m and ask me to shut up?