We published an article titled “Supreme Court extends appointment ofjudge who threw out Tan Cheng Bock’s lawsuit against reserved PE2017” (the “Article”) on 16 December 2017.

In the Article, we claimed that Justice Quentin Loh had, in dismissing Dr Tan Cheng Bock’s constitutional challenge, ruled that “Parliament’s choice of (the first elected President) is a policy decision which falls outside the remit of the courts.’

Our inclusion of the words “the first elected President” was a misquoting of Justice Loh’s decision.

The relevant portion of Justice Loh’s decision in fact reads “Parliament’s choice of the First Term is a policy decision which falls outside the remit of the courts”. The phrase “First Term” was defined by Justice Loh to mean “the first term of office of the President to be counted for the purposes of deciding whether an election is reserved under Art 19B”.

Our substitution of the phrase “the first elected President” for the words “First Term” was wrong and conveyed the false impression that Parliament had declared President Wee Kim Wee to be the first Elected President and that Justice Loh had ruled that it was entitled to do so.

This is not case since Parliament did not declare or choose President Wee to be the first Elected President, nor did Justice Loh make any such ruling as our misquote suggests.

We apologize for the error.


  1. i am very confused. if parliament did not decide who the first elected president is, how did it decide what ethnic group the current president should be from? the count begins from the first elected president. From a commonsensical standpoint, if the justice had ruled that the “first term of the office of the president…” is a “policy decision that falls outside the remit of the courts”, it is necessarily implying that the choice of the first elected president is also a “policy decision that falls outside the remit of the courts” and therefore TCB’s lawsuit was dismissed, otherwise why dismiss it?

    Playing with semantics does not help the system. it merely informs the masses that Singapore IS fast approaching Orwell’s 1984.

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