The Person Sitting in Darkness is almost sure to say: "There is something curious about this – curious and unaccountable. There must be two Americas: one that sets the captive free, and one that takes a once-captive’s new freedom away from him, and picks a quarrel with him with nothing to found it on; then kills him to get his land."
The above was penned by Mark Twain in 1901 and below was a comment by Duterte blasting at the Americans who thought the Philippines is still their colony and they have the right to meddle with the political affairs of the country.
."I am a president of a sovereign state. And we have long ceased to be a colony. I do not have any master but the Filipino people."
How could these two statements have any relevance to the controversies over the changes to the criteria and qualifications for the Elected President of Singapore, albeit a practically non executive post, paid in the millions while most of the jobs would be about attending charity events and claiming to be the one that raised the millions for charity, or visiting sporting events and cheering the athletes to give moral support? How important and demanding could such a job be to require so extraordinary feat and expertise but with nothing said about moral righteousness, honour, humility, human kindness, compassion, nobility of not the monetary kind, and the desire to serve the people and country?
The thought that a non executive president must possess all the stringent qualities but nothing is needed to be the most powerful man in the country, the PM, is simply nonsensical. Period.
But this nonsense does not stop there. This man, after passing through the stringent criteria, needs to be elected to have the moral authority to make decisions on two functions, ie say yes to use the national reserves and the appointments of top civil servants. It would not be ridiculous if things stop here. But no, there is a non elected Presidential Advisory Council to overrule the elected President. What nonsense! The men in the Advisory Council are not elected by the people, what moral or legal authority would they have over a President elected by the people? And in most cases, these men may not even be more qualified than the EP.
And there is this presumption that in the event of a rogue govt, the President, a one man show, could rule over a rogue govt? What audacious thinking is that? A rogue govt may be rogue but not stupid, and it is the easiest thing for them to get rid of the EP if they intend to do so. They could even disband the Parliament and rule like rogues, abusing all the powers at their disposal, changing the Constitution, appointing all their lackeys and cronies to high offices and take control of everything. There is nothing to stop a rogue govt.
And what is the point of a highly qualified EP, elected by the people, with moral authority, to check on the govt, when Parliament could simply overrule him with a 2/3 majority? Heard of LPPL?
And it is the fault of the system that we don't have a minority Malay President for four decades! Oops, it is not the system, it is the racist Chinese population that would not vote for a non Chinese President. What proof? Who said that? Has it ever been proven that it would be the case? Utter nonsense, rubbish. Oh, the surveys said so. Really? What worth are the surveys?