Court of Appeal reserves judgement in Tan Cheng Bock’s appeal against reserved presidential election

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The Court of Appeal has reserved judgement on the appeal lodged by Dr Tan Cheng Bock challenging the legitimacy of the Presidential Election 2017 that is set to be a reserved one for Malay candidates.

His appeal against the basis for triggering a reserved election was heard in court today, from about 9.30am in a hearing that was open to the public.

The panel of five judges did not give a date as to when they will deliver the judgement but said that they will get back to the court “as soon as possible.” The panel of appellate judges include Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon, Judges of Appeal Judith Prakash and Steven Chong, and Justices Chua Lee Ming and Kannan Ramesh.

Following the hearing, Dr Tan told reporters: “Singaporeans must fully understand the issue, not just accept. If in the end, we are found to be wrong, then we accept it. That’s what democracy is about.”

Dr Tan filed the appeal after the High Court’s rejected his application on 7 July.

The former MP had announced his intentions to contest the 2017 Presidential Election in March 2016. He had previously lost the last Presidential Election in 2011 by just 0.35% of votes.

In November 2016, Parliament announced new amendments to the elected presidential scheme and outlined that since there has not been a President from the Malay community for five consecutive terms, the 2017 election will be reserved for those from the Malay community.

In his constitutional challenge to the court, Dr Tan disputed the counting of the five consecutive terms and argued that if the AGC counts from President Ong Teng Cheong, Singapore’s first rightfully elected President instead of counting from President Wee Kim Wee who was an appointed president, this year’s PE would not need to be reserved in accordance to the new amendments.

Justice Quentin Loh ruled that, “Ultimately, since (the Constitution) does not fetter Parliament’s power … Parliament’s choice of (the first elected President) is a policy decision which falls outside the remit of the courts.”

Dr Tan responded that the Judge may have misconstrued the Constitutional provisions surrounding the matter.

He later indicated that he will not pursue the matter if the Court of Appeal rejects his application.

Tan Cheng Bock’s appeal hearing on 31 July to be open to public

187 COMMENTS

    • Loves it, Stephen S L Koh. However, let’s give the judges the opportunities to be forthright and impartial in this instance. Yes, wait till they make the decision and announce it to the public. The educated (INFORMED) public knows the DESPERATION and the LENGTHS PM LHL went to to get the reserved Malay president proposal passed. It is INSANE! But, that’s the absolutely filthy politics that this dishonourable son is playing. And, sorry, WE ARE PAYING DEARLY FOR THIS DREADFUL INDULGENCE!

    • you TCSS Stephen out of your arse. if they have to seek LHL approval, may you strike lottery and be millionaire. If they don’t have to seek LHL approval, may you get a strike from heaven. duh.

    • It’s common sense lah bro. It’s difficult for CJ to say we should consider Wee Kim Wee as our first elected president. For politicians, they can lie openly with nonsensical reasons or justification. But for judicial ruling….the judicial process has to be careful with their judgement

    • @ Kevin Tay (9 mins ago): Justice Bao or Bao Chin Tien was the perfectly upright and just judge. But, NOT in Singapore today. Perhaps tomorrow ……and we’ll have Bao Ming Tien! Just as perfect. Like they say: Better late than never. We will then get justice (fair play) for ALL! And, my dream that in my lifetime, ALL forced into exile Singaporeans be allowed to return home to Singapore. NO question asked. NOT deviating from the ESSENTIAL freedom from hunger and want for our socially disadvantaged and vulnerable citizens.

    • @ Alan Lim : It is actually a very simple and elementary stuff. However, the judges have to consider the government’s (PM LHL’s) position. Yes, I am saying they are in a conundrum as they have been beholden to the government all along. Implicitly or explicitly. SURE, they cannot admit to it but it is The Truth! Let’s await the date of the Reserved Judgement. If it comes after the Presidential Election …………….I’d leave you and the readers to fill in the blanks!

  1. Asap?? After president election over or last minutes than give ans to prevent TCB to partcipate or wat? Funny… hor…, at least must give a date to let people prepare..

  2. They will ask TCB to wait for next election , still hv to wait for another five years , by that time do you think that he is on earth or he still got energy to elect , the government is playing the delay games , UNDERSTOOD to all out Singaporeans fellow lah.

  3. If our Justice System is seeking to consult Govt, then something is really very wrong with democracy!
    Even Donald Trump cannot overrule court judgement in US.

  4. How come PM Lee’s PET LAWYER LUCIEN WONG, the current AG DIDN’T DEFEND himself in Court on his advice to PAP Government on the Reserved Malay President ?

    Is AG Lucien Wong INCOMPETENT (Corporate Lawyer with NO LITIGATION experience) & GUILTY (serious mistake of miscounting WHO should be our First Elected President) so need his Deputy to HELP DEFEND him ?

    Now you know WHY PAP Government need pay a DEPUTY AG for the FIRST time in Singapore’s Legal History ?

    Quote Lim Tean

    Today I attended Dr Tan Cheng Bock’s hearing. . . .

    I went to the Court of Appeal today to attend Dr Tan Cheng Bock’s appeal from Justice Loh’s decision in the reserved election case.

    As expected, the Court was packed and I only managed to get in to observe the 2nd half of the hearing after Mr Chelva Rajah SC (Dr Tan’s counsel) had presented his arguments to the Court.

    The Government’s case was presented by the Deputy Attorney General, Mr Hri Kumar. He DID NOT ARGUE WELL and kept DEFERRING the judges’ questions. An important part of the art of the advocate is the ability to handle judges’ questions head on. Questions from a judge are the best indicator of the thinking of the judge .

    I thought that both Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon and Judge of Appeal Steven Chong asked Mr Kumar very pertinent questions regarding the government’s case.

    One feature of the case which I find ABSURB is that up to now the Attorney-General’s ADVICE to the government has NOT been produced to the Courts. In the Court below and in the Court of Appeal today, Mr Kumar took the position that the AG’s advice is IRRELEVANT. I find such a position taken to be RIDICULOUS!

    Overall, I am of the opinion that Dr Tan had a good hearing before the Court of Appeal today and I wish him and his supporters the best of luck

    Lim Tean

    • that is why they have an attack dog to take his place. truly an incompetent AG. over retirement age and still can get the job, when the incumbent had to retire. what sort of governance do we have?

  5. 5 Judges? Main : Your Honourable Justice Tan KU KU. Deputy : Honourable Justice Tan Chin Ku. 3 Assisting: Honourable Justice Sam Pai Tua Justice Wedunno Winocare Justice Sam Body Beholden.

  6. I wonder whether the 5 judges need to seek approval from the monarch, then Dr Lee Wei Ling is perfectly right in commenting that Singaporeans are living under the absolute monarchy system
    History always repeat !

    • @Ronald Lim
      When the emperor is hen-pecked like my second brother, then the power in decision-making falls into the hands of Empress Dowager
      Even when you are the emperor’s siblings, you will not be invited for reunion dinner on the eve of lunar Chinese New Year !
      Read Habakkuk 3:17-18
      Haggai 2:22
      I will not be fooled by the things I see!
      I will not be disheartened by the darkness surrounding me!
      I will be patient to wait in HOPE !!!
      Haggai 2:22 is a reflection of what had happened on 14 June 2017 fulfilling the prophecy

    • Delay tactics does not help,5 judges 3-2 for or against …….
      The judges must not set a precedent that in future any PM can decide on whatever race to be the next president.
      We are a center for arbitration and we should tell the world our judgement is fair.
      The judges must consider that the majority Chinese will not be happy with the only Malay President Election.

  7. Simple maths cannot do.. Need to consult first, even though Istana website has clearly stated that President Ong Teng Cheong was the first elected President.

  8. From all the events that has been happening since the last GE 2015 elections. I hope that the ENTIRE NATION now understands WHY IT IS SO IMPORTANT to have a substantial opposing representation in Parliament so that NO POLICY can be rammed down the citizen’s throats for the benefit of the ruling political party. I am sure that the government leaders HEARD the unhappiness and resentment of the man in the street everyday and are acutely aware of what the undemocratic manner in which they are governing. They probably believe that come election year, the same tactic of giving out goodies to the citizens will smooth things over. I urge every Singaporean who loves our country to burn these few years in our memories and not forget what needs to be done come GE time. There MUST BE PROPER CHECK AND BALANCE TO CURB the government high handedness and blatant arrogance in how they are governing. And for this coming election, DO NOT SPOIL YOUR VOTE, vote for anyone but the ruling party selection and SEND A CLEAR MESSAGE to the government that WE WILL NOT BE MANIPULATED and have OUR DEMOCRATIC RIGHTS TRAMPLED UPON any further.

  9. tan cb, ex-white, now kena from the same system he so assiduously supported. those never kena, blindly support, thinking the system is meritocratic, then they kena, they wake up and cry father. too late, tan cb.

  10. wee kim wee was never an elected president. even if he had exercised such powers when the law was changed, he was only an appointed president. unless, the court rules that wee was ‘elected’ by the cabinet!

  11. WAKE UP DAFT 70% & NEW CITIZEN PAP VOTERS !!

    MUST READ & SHARE THIS ON FB/ WATSAPP TO TELL PEOPLE AROUND YOU !

    YOU TELL ME, HOW CAN SINGAPORE & SINGAPOREANS NOT MATI (DIE) & BECOME WORLD’S TOP LAUGHING STOCK UNDER THE CORRUPT PAP ONE PARTY RULE ??

    Translate Chinese Newspaper Headline

    JUDGES MAKE MISTAKE & BECOME LAUGHING STOCK !

    1) Majority of High Court Judges had made a “FUNDAMENTAL ERROR” in interpreting “in the way of his business” !

    2) AG Lucien Wong had made a “FUNDAMENTAL ERROR” in counting Wee Kim Wee as our First Elected President !

    3) Parliament (PAP), the Court Boss had made a “FUNDAMENTAL ERROR” in taking AG Lucien Wong’s advice to count Wee Kim Wee as our First Elected President !

    Quote

    The Court of Appeal on Tuesday (1 August) reserved judgement in the criminal reference case filed by the Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC) to seek clarification on the High Court’s ruling in the City Harvest Church case.

    Opening the hearing was Deputy Attorney-General Hri Kumar Nair, whose argument pivoted on the wording of section 409. He was heard by a five-judge panel comprising Judges of Appeal Andrew Phang and Judith Prakash, and Justices Belinda Ang, Quentin Loh, and Chua Lee Ming.

    Nair argued that the MAJORITY OF THE HIGH COURT JUDGES had made a “FUNDAMENTAL ERROR” in interpreting the phrase “in the way of his business”.

    https://sg.news.yahoo.com/court-appeal-reserves-judgement-city-harvest-church-criminal-reference-case-115922118.html

  12. Don’t Rock The Boat. Continue to receive your high-income salary without problems. “Do not trouble trouble until trouble trouble you.” Good night and sleep well !

  13. What did he expect? Justice, fairness? As an ex pap MP, he should know better, so what is he trying to prove, that he can influence pap? If he cares about the role of EP, join the opposition or form a political party to challenge pap, otherwise this pursuit for EP can only be seen as his quest for wealth and comfort.

  14. The government is omniscient and this judgement confirms it. Total control! Looks like no election after all! We’ll have an Indian EP masquerading as a Malay. :'(

  15. Not surprising, knowing that the whole machinery is catering to the baboon and chimpanzees. So, whatever the outcome, know that it will take side with the whiteys because they are pet woofwoof.

  16. He should know the outcome of this judgment. Infect he didn’t have to appeal . This election has already set, who is going to be the next President. You know la..

  17. Election is not about Mr Ong but rather about our pledge “Regardless of race” and should be an open President election. If not the word “Regardless of race” be removed from the pledge serve no meaning for this multi-racial country.

  18. It’s already expected that TCB would lose his case way before he even fought it. Once the PAP govt decides on something like the reserved President for Malay decisively, no one can stop them at all.

  19. As expected…. There’s ABSOLUTELY NO WAY TO WIN ANY APPEAL AGAINST A GOVERNMENT WHEN THE LAWS ARE ALLOWED TO BENT WHENEVER IT SUITS THEM. Time for a change Singapore…. WAKE UP!

    • That is right. So that is why the pledge “Regardless of race” should be replaced by “Regardless of what the government says”. Coming next , law change the pledge as they are the government.

  20. If he is borned a peranakan, suggested to use his borned status to apply for presidency. If someone borned to an Indian father can go for election, why not a peranakan? One or both his parents is a Malay still..

  21. Come on Bocky! You must KNOW that your chance of winning is Zilch or Kosong in Malay. I’d put it nice and straight: You are still an honourable and highly respected person. So, why NOT wholeheartedly support the push for a New Government? First and Foremost UNITE the Opposition. They are fighting amongst themselves and playing straight into the evil arms of the inhuman PAP. I remember the video I’ve seen on YouTube where a pack of lions brought down a buffalo and all are guaranteed a grand feast over it. However, the pack started fighting amongst themselves such that they have to scatter leaving the wounded buffalo to summon enough strength to get up and get away! This is the situation with the Opposition. Disunity is Political DEATH! The Opposition is so poorly under resourced yet they fight amongst themselves! Frankly speaking, how can you be good looking like me when you cut off your nose to spite your face??? Hahaha.

  22. done well. “Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom. A man can’t ride you unless your back is bent.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

  23. If not because of the real threat of using the tool devised by the PAP, well-known as “Contempt of Court” introduced only a few years back, I think many Singapore residents would have openly offered their unbiased views and opinions about Singapore’s judiciary system and the independence of the decisions made by certain organs of state. Case in point is the case of Li Shengwu’s private Facebook post.

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