The above are the official reasons for this big constitutional change to enshrine racial considerations and elements into the office of the EP when race will be a factor in choosing the EP. Racial politics enshrined into the constitution a good thing, a progressive or regressive thing?
The unofficial version or reasons for the changes to the EP process in everyone’s lips is about keeping Tan Cheng Bock out of the race. Whether one subscribe to this view, whether one believes this is the real reason, this is what everyone is talking about. True or not, depends on who you want to believe. If the govt is to amend the rules to bar the majority Chinese from the next EP election, saying that it is recommended by the Constitutional Commission, and applies this, then Cheng Bock would be locked out from the race and it would only confirm what the people feared and believed in.
And to add another barrier to people like Cheng Bock, the bar was raised higher, that the person must have managed an organization of more than $200m instead of $100m to take in inflation and the increasing value of the reserves. So Cheng Bock’s previous organization would not be big enough and thus not eligible. This reason may be too flimsy to hold water as the inflation should also applies to the value of organizations at different times. Thus Cheng Bock’s $100m organization then would be revalued to $200m at today’s value, if there is no nitpicking. He was eligible then and should be now.
So, what is the real reason for the changes to the EP process? It depends on who you are and who you want to believe. Oops, please ignore those jesters recommending that there should be more than one EP at one time. They think Singapore is their grandfather’s company and money is no problem, can anyhow pay. And they may also be thinking Singapore is the biggest country in the whole world, bigger than USA and China combined, so need a few flower vases in the Istana, and pay them by the millions because their jobs are more important and difficult than the PM and ministers running ministries.
I got this funny feeling when I think of these extraordinary criteria for a non executive president. Should not these criteria or more stringent criteria be applied to people wanting to be PMs and ministers, the people that really wield great powers in managing the affairs of the state? Or are the PM and minister’s jobs easier than the EP so anyone can become a PM or minister without having to run a $200m company, just manage a town council will do? Make sense?
Oops, I digress. How many of you believe in the Hsien Loong’s version for the need to change the constitution on EP? How many of you believe the talk of the town, that the changes are rushed to keep Tan Cheng Bock out of the Istana? This one not I say one, everyone is saying this is the real reason.
At this moment, one thing is looking quite certain. The new conditions would mean that Tan Cheng Bock would not be qualified to stand in the next EP. What are the bookies stand on this? 1000 to 1 that Tan Cheng Bock would not qualify?
I think the bookies would even chicken out on such a bet.