Minister Shanmugam claims race is factor in elections, netizens disagree

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The reserved Presidential Election was a “judgment call” the Government had to make to entrench multiracial representation in Singapore said Minister for Law and Home Affairs, K Shanmugam. Speaking at the Institute of Policy Studies forum on the reserved Presidential Elections on Friday, Mr Shanmugam pointed to the GRC scheme and Ethnic Integration Policy for HDB flats to justify the recent amendments to the Elected Presidency.

The Minister acknowledged that there was no “groundswell” from the Malay community asking for this election to be reserved. He said: “We know that the Malay community has generally felt that, you know, there isn’t a Malay president. I won’t say there was a groundswell of clamour, but there was certainly a considerable body of opinion and viewpoints that they don’t have a Malay presidency.”

Highlighting American politics, Mr Shanmugam said that race has proven to be a relevant factor in voting around the world, and that the People’s Action Party leaders are activists and generally moved ahead of problems.

Readers who responded to Today’s report of Mr Shanmugam’s speech at IPS in their Facebook however disagreed with the Minister that race was a significant factor in who they cast their vote for.

Ross Tan said: Well, let’s do it, next up should be reserved prime minister? I doubt that will happen and stop giving excuses please.

Chris Chen added: “I don’t care if the president or the PM or the minister or the MP is Chinese, Malay, Indian… or an alien. I care if he can do his job. Period.”

Barry Smyth: “It’s a racist presidential election, and an EXTREMELY bad judgement call by a government. It flies in the face of democracy, meritocracy, not to mention the national pledge. Race was never an issue for the President until the government made is so. The president is for all Singaporeans regardless of race. Please stop supporting this ridiculous piece of garbage and call it what it is “RACIST”. There is no excuse, and you are starting to make yourself look less than credible by attempting to support it.”

Chee Leong Tan: “If race matters to Singaporean voters, then it means we still have not achieved “regardless of race” in Singapore. Please solve this racial bias issue. Reserving something for any particular race seems to do the opposite.”

Lim May: “Why did they do the obviously wrong thing n can still appear to be so righteous making citizens feel stupid n dumb!”

123 COMMENTS

  1. I used to support and respect his — Shanmugam speeches, but now I am about to lose it due to his presentation both in race and religion are biased and uncalled just because he is holding a big stick telling Singaporeans who is the boss.

  2. Lies upon lies. Ever since the paranoid old man created this monstrosity called EP, they have been trying so hard to validate themselves with all kinds of reasons for doing so. And these stemmed from his fear of a rogue government. A rogue government will not happen if the system is robust enough and democratic enough to create a more balanced power in parliament in the first place. If you set up a system to only accommodate a one-party system, of course you will fear a so-called rogue one-party parliament and government!

    In fact, what makes Singaporeans so sure that PAP has not turned rogue themselves over the last decade?

  3. Really wonder how many more Lies will come out from these bunch of Nonsensical leaders who will betray all logic and Principles. For What? Voters must ask themselves when they go to the polls if there is one.

  4. Murali, pap candidate, won bk batok by election with 61% votes against DR Chee. Murali is an Indian winning the seat is clear the race has no bearing in this time of spore. Brand n extensive control decide on the outcome.

  5. Is there a groundswell or no groundswell or just a “considerable” opinion (read as a few of their lackey dogs convenient remarks)… this is so weak and contrived

  6. Does it make a difference if there is a president or not… Time will move on and people need to move with time and not leaders or preachers. They be just wasting your time. Let’s say death comes knocking at 12 o’clock they will delay and extend to 6 o clock. 6 hours of your time is wasted in your next life

    • PM Lee speaks out against playing race card in Bukit Batok by-election
      By SIAU MING EN
      Published 3:05 PM, APRIL 30, 2016
      Updated 12:44 AM, May 01, 2016
      SINGAPORE — Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong spoke out on Saturday (April 30) against online comments and whispers going around Bukit Batok asking Chinese voters to cast their ballot along racial lines, calling this “completely wrong and bad”.

      Speaking to the media after a visit to Bukit Batok – his first since 2009 – Mr Lee acknowledged that in a multi-racial society, race would be an issue on people’s minds. “But I think when they vote for somebody, they should not be voting on the basis of race, but they should be voting on the basis of his ability to contribute, his sincerity, the heart, the colour of his heart and his commitment – which is red – regardless what race or religion he may belong to,” he said.

  7. That Indian guy is delusional. All my Malay friends felt that to select a president base by race is wrong. And they have no objections if there wasn’t any Malay president as Long as the person at the helm is qualified by skillset and integrity. Duno from which country they get the idea that need to have a reserve Malay presidential election so the Malay people here will feel is fair. ownself say ownself acknowledge.

  8. COMPARATIVE PARLIAMENTARY STRUCTURE BETWEEN SG AND OTHER COUNTRIES

    – PRESIDENT (LIKE USA) = PM (LIKE SINGAPORE)
    – DY PRESIDENT. = DPM

    SO, WHERE DOES SG PRESIDENT, MM AND ESM FIT INTO OTHER COUNTRY’S STRUCTURE??

    AS I SAID BEFORE AND I EMPHASIZE AGAIN, SG PRESIDENT, MM AND ESM ARE TOTALLY “REDUNDANT” POSITIONS.

    MOREOVER, OTHER COUNTRY ONLY HV 1 DY PRESIDENT OR 1 DPM, BUT SMALL COUNTRY LIKE SG HAS 2 DPM.

    ACC TO LKY, HE SAID “SG IS A SMALL COUNTRY, WITH BOTH SMALL POPULATION AND SMALL ECONOMY. SO, IT IS EASY TO MANAGE THAN ANY OTHER BIGGER COUNTRIES.”

    AS SUCH, THESE ALL THESE 4 TOP LEADER POSTS ARE CREATED BASICALLY TO SUPPORT HIS “DISHONOURABLE” SON LHL.

    AS I SAID, IT ALSO SENT A “CLEAR AND STRONG SIGNAL” TO THE WORLD THAT CURRENT PAP UNDER LHL’S LEADERSHIP IS INDEED “NON COMPETENT” AT ALL.

  9. What is to be discuss, when everything is obvious and controlled! Do the people hv the right to voice out, when everything said is being bullied. Who can we voice out if its not our own gamen? Everything is red tape, template answer and more red tapes with more formality. Foreign trash has more rights then majullah singapura. Empty promises again and again.

  10. What a load of B*S. Race mace dace ace – race matters less and less. Intermarriages are so common these days. Have these people been burying their heads in the sand? Or maybe their metaphorical silos don’t allow them to see the world around them?

  11. Are you sure the Malays think that a “Malay” arbitrarily certified by some committee will adequately represent their interests? What do the Malays here think? Yes or no? Are you saying Wee Kim Wee, Ong Teng Cheong, S.R. Nathan, etc. did not represent your interests nor did they do anything within their powers to ensure your well being? If so, what is wrong is the presidential system, not the race! Even if you make sure every race rotates like the Yang pertuan di-Agong in Malaysia, it will still be inadequate, because the President simply can’t do nothing except witnessing our first Olympic gold medal!

  12. Having a reserved PE is actually an insult to the Malays as it shows that they are granted the position purely as a favor and not from merit. We should be voting for the best candidate regardless of race or religion.

  13. Take a simple analogy of a chicken rice stall . Although there may be a preference from the patrons to roasted, brown deep fried, yellow skin kampong chicken and white steam chicken , I mean as long as the stall delivers supreme quality of chicken rice , do you think people will not buy from the stall just because it’s only selling white steam ones ?

    Successful organization sees every single individual beyond the tone of the skin but the unique qualities which is beneficial to the organization as well as the people who lies within ?

  14. I do not know a single Malay who is not happy that there is a lack of Malay president. But those who are not happy with overpaid, underperforming, overrated PAP Politicians?? Tons!

  15. Minsters, you have set a very very bad precedence here in Singapore. You have not uphold the constitution but you have changed it to suit your dark objectives. you have certainly sealed the doom of singapore’s civil sectory integrity

  16. This an executive elected President who put up by the white themselves so it be fair to contest by everyone not based on race now is hitting their own feet
    If is reverted to the original non executive President n take turn to do is it just fine

  17. We vote regardless of race language and religion. If i recite the pledge, i meant to believe that. Until the PE issue kick in and stir up much fuss about race and religion. Letz put this straight, we dun care what race the president, we care if he/she do the job in the interest of Singaporeans

  18. Cut the crap. I have no problem with an RE but the count should start from Mr. Ong Teng Cheong. The PAP want to prevent TCB from running and use the inter-racial card to whitewash the whole issue.

  19. Not proud to be a Singaporean anymore. The whole world is laughing at us because of the clowns in parliament bringing Singapore down. Chief clown will soon be holding the highest office in the land.

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