Writing in his Facebook, Dr Tan Chang Bock said that having 5 judges hear his appeal on the legitimacy of the upcoming Presidential Election reserved for Malay candidates points to the importance of the Constitutional challenge. In early july, the High Court rejected Dr Tan Cheng Bock’s application.
Besides having his appeal dismissed, Dr Tan was also attacked for having “selfish” and “self-serving” motives by Deputy Attorney General Hri Kumar Nair – a former Member of Parliament from the PAP. Dr Tan described Mr Hri’s attack on him as a “hit below the belt”. Dr Tan, a former People’s Action Party MP himself, charged that the the Deputy Attorney General was delving “into dangerous racial politics”. he pointed out that his challenge in the Court was about upholding the Constitution of Singapore.
The appeal will be heard on 31 July, 10 am, at the Supreme Court. Five judges, instead of the usual 3, are set to decide on the appeal by Dr Tan. The 5 judges hearing the appeal are Chief Justice Sunderesh Menon, Judge of Appeal Judith Prakash, Judge of Appeal Steven Chong, Justice Chua Lee Ming and Justice Kannan Ramesh.
Besides saying that it is significant for 5 judges hear his appeal, Dr Tan also welcomed the involvement of the Chief Justice (CJ) in the appeal.
“Some have asked whether the CJ should hear this case since he chaired the Constitutional Commission that recommended the reserved elections. Last week, the Court wrote to the AG and my lawyers asking if parties have any objections if the CJ sat at the hearing. Both sides said there were none.
I welcome CJ’s involvement. In my view, no other judge knows more about the subject than the CJ. It is therefore proper and beneficial to Singaporeans that he is available to address questions on the reserved election scheme and its spirit and purpose.” – Dr Tan