Many are seeing the intended consequences of the Commission and the intended results based on a preconceived idea or agenda of what the Commission was all about from the very start of its existence. And they are not disappointed. Let me point out a few unintended consequences arising from the recommendations that would prove tricky and slimy in times to come.
The first point is the stringent criteria for an Elected President that, and I quote a comment by Chok Tong in the media, ‘We do not want to have a very high powered man who can be your President to be doing nothing for six years.’ This remark by Chok Tong was in response to a suggestion for a Vice President. But it is still very appropriate in the case of the EP whose 6 years would mainly be kissing children and waving at the crowds and shaking hands with the people visiting the Istana on public holidays.
The big question, why is there a need for such a high powered man with a string of stringent criteria? Is the job of the EP more important, more complicated and more demanding than that of the PM? Is the PM’s job so ‘senang’ that any Tom, Dick and Harry could take over without a single criteria on his suitability other than he is not insane? How many of you would agree that the PM’s job is definitely hundreds of times more difficult and complicated and demanding than the EP? It’s a no brainer really.
So, should not the criteria for the EP be made applicable to the PM, and more, make it even more stringent as the importance and complexity of the job demands a bigger superman. It is simply nonsensical for such an important job to be given to anyone without passing the same criteria as the cosy job of the EP. Tiok or boh tiok? If not, then the stringent criteria imposed on the Presidential candidate would become nonsensical as well.
The next unintended consequence of the recommendation is that all new citizens would be equally eligible to be the EP as long as they met the criteria, with no regards to their place of birth. They are eligible the moment they get their citizenship, fresh from the oven, as they said. Is this fair to the rest of the true blue citizens? Any new citizen from PRC or India or anywhere else would have the same right as a native citizen to be the EP. This is as good as selling out the citizens’ rights to the Johnny come lately. Good, tiok, can, acceptable, never mind?
Another unthought of consequences, ok, I am being intellectually arrogant here to think that the wise men and woman did not think of it, is that Pinoys would stand a good chance to be a minority EP. The Indian Indian new citizens would fall under the Indian category so no sweat, they are eligible if no Indians are elected over 30 years, or an Others ie Europeans could enjoy the same privilege. They must thank God that they are classified as Others and automatically qualified as a minority.
What is this Pinoy thing that is so special? If I am not mistaken, the Pinoys are classified as Malays in their Identity Cards. So they could hitch a ride in the Malay category to be a minority EP when the time comes. Lucky buggers. The Malay pool of eligible candidates for minority EP is thus enlarged and there should be no fear of no qualified candidates. The Pinoys are qualified legally by this classification. OK, this anomaly or privilege for the Pinoys would not be applicable if I am mistaken and they are classified as Pinoys and not Malays. I stand corrected on this.
What other things to consider about the recommendations? Oh there is a point that needs further clarification on the 5 terms and 30 year absence of a minority President. I will touch on this in another post.
Did I miss out on more unintended consequences on the EP issue? Surely there must be plenty. Oh, did Cheng Bock qualify or kena booted out for good? I will address this in the next post together with the 5 terms/30 year criteria.