Dr Tan Cheng Bock Appeals Judgment on Constitutional Challenge Against Reserved Presidential Election


Dr Tan Cheng Bock has filed an appeal through his lawyers today, against the High Court’s rejection of the application he filed challenging the Government’s new rules dictating that the Presidential Election to be held this year will be a reserved one since there has not been a President from the Malay community for five consecutive terms.

Today is the deadline for his appeal to be filed.

In his original application submitted in May, Dr Tan questioned whether the Attorney-General’s Chambers’ (AGC) inclusion of President Wee Kim Wee as Singapore’s first elected President (when he was an appointed President) when counting how many terms without a Malay president has passed, is constitutional.

The Elected Presidency scheme was only instated in the middle of President Wee’s second term.

Dr Tan argued that if the AGC counts from President Ong Teng Cheong, Singapore’s first rightfully elected President, this year’s PE would not need to be reserved in accordance to the new amendments.


Justice Quentin Loh ruled last week 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.”


Besides having his application dismissed, Dr Tan, who lost by 0.35% of votes to current President Tony Tan in the 2011 Presidential Elections, was also attacked for having “selfish” and “self-serving” motives by Deputy Attorney General (DAG) Hri Kumar Nair – a former Member of Parliament from the PAP.

In his submissions to the High Court, DAG Nair accused Dr Tan of trying to “undermine” multiracial presidency and that he is “running a case that is entirely self-serving.” He said:

“(Dr Tan) is advancing a strained interpretation of the Constitution so that he can apply to stand as a candidate in the coming (PE).
“His motives are purely selfish and he has shown no regard for the principle of multiracial representation which Parliament intended to safeguard.” 

He claimed that Dr Tan’s bid “undermines the longstanding imperative for multiracial representation in the office of the President, which the reserved election framework seeks to safeguard”.

Dr Tan responded to the DAG’s claims on his Facebook page:

“For the DAG to call me “selfish” and having “no regard for the principle of multiracial representation” is hitting below the belt, highly inflammatory and encroaches into dangerous racial politics. The DAG is a public servant and an ex-PAP MP. He should not have made such a statement, which is now widely reported by the press.
“This case is not about race. It is about process and procedures. It is about upholding the Constitution. Let’s keep it that way.”


  1. May your appeal be heard fairly and acted upon sensibly without contorted interpretations that hint of fear. It looks like you are perceived to be a threat to their works.

  2. Come down to Hong Lim Park this Saturday 4pm to show our stand. To mark our disapproval as Singaporeans. To reject race politics. To reject abuse of power and position. To demand independent investigation. To demand accountability. To support Tan Cheng Bock!

  3. History n facts not be change . From here the citizens should be able to see what kind of government we vote in . How r their going to face relatives n Friends when ask about it . Hope the PM can leave a LEGACY which every citizens proud to talk about n not a name of DICTATOR to remember of U.

  4. Let not your heart be troubled as God will bring every deed unto judgment !
    Everything under the Sun, there is a time and an activity
    Now is the time for all citizens of Singapore to stand up for our rights!

  5. No amount of appeals will change their plan to install Harimau as the 1st female Indian president to represent the Malay race (EP reserved for minority race – Malay)…What a joke and insult to our Malay brothers and sisters..

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