Let’s look at the facts and numbers. The followings were the Presidents of Singapore.
Yusof Ishak 1965-70 (Yang di pertuan Negara or Head of State 1959 to 65)
Benjamin Sheares 1971-81
Devan Nair 1981-85
Wee Kim Wee 1985-93
Ong Teng Cheong 1993-99
SR Nathan 1999-11
Tony Tan 2011 to present
What did the above said? There were 4 minority presidents and 3 Chinese presidents. Minorities underrepresented or over represented? This only tells part of the story. If we consider the period 1965 to 2016, a total of 51 years, the minorities were presidents for 31 years while the Chinese were presidents for only 19 years. If one is to include the period from 1959, Yusof Ishak was the Head of State, this would mean another 6 years going to minorities. That would mean the minorities were Head of State/President for 37 years against the Chinese’s 19 years.
Yusof Ishak, Sheares and Nathan all served more than one term. Of the Chinese presidents, only Wee Kim Wee served 2 terms, Ong Teng Cheong served 1 ½ terms, and Tony Tan is still in his first term.
The big question, are the minorities under represented as Head of State/President of the country? If one is using the formula of proportional representation, with a 75% majority the Chinese should proportionally occupied 75% of the 51/57 years of statehood or 36/42 years of the position of Head of State/Presidency.
The truth is that the minorities are occupying the Head of State/President office by more than 70% while the Chinese are occupying only 30% of the duration.
Now you see the myth? The majority Chinese is under represented in the office of the Head of State/Presidency, and the minorities have been over represented. So, what is the fish? Why the urgency and desperation to amend the Constitution to protect minority representation?
With the way immigration is changing the demography of this island, with the low productivity of the Chinese, mathematically, the Chinese can become a minority in the future. Then what?
Now there is this idea floating around that the Presidency would be something like a GRC with several presidents. Is Singapore so rich to pay for so many presidents doing mainly ceremonial roles? If a president gets $4m a year basic, it will mean $48m for a 12 year term. If you add 12 months bonus, that would be $96m, and if it is 24 months bonus, that would triple to $132m! And if we have 3 or 4 presidents at one time, just imagine how much public money would spend on this office?
A wrongly conceived idea, contrived, smells no matter how many layers of scrap paper are wrapped around it.