Tan Cheng Bock applies to High Court to challenge reserved Presidential Election


According to the secretary-general of the People’s Power Party, Dr Tan Cheng Bock has filed an affidavit in High Court to ask the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) why he decided to count 5 Elected Presidential terms from President Wee Kim Wee, instead of from President Ong Teng Cheong. Under the Constitutional Amendments passed in November, if there is not a President from a particular race for five consecutive terms, then the next term will be reserved for a President from that community.

Dr Tan had in late March, publicly questioned the AGC’s advise to the Prime Minister to start counting the five terms from President Wee Kim Wee. He did not dispute the Constitutional Commission’s Recommendations for amendments to the PE, but referencing several Parliamentary records, newspaper clippings, and the fact that the Prime Minister had only issued 4 writs of PE, asked how the AGC arrived at the conclusion that President Wee (and not President Ong Teng Cheong) was the first Elected President.

The Government responded to Dr Tan’s questions saying it will not respond to him. It explained that he needed no new response because he “has not raised any new points that require response”. It instead faulted Dr Tan for not participating in the extensive consultations and public hearings on the Elected Presidency.

Dr Tan then shot back at the Government to say that it has “missed his point totally”.

In faulting the Government for brushing off his press conference, Dr Tan reiterated that he “did not dispute the Constitutional Commission’s report or the White Paper,” but that he disagreed “with the way the Government has triggered the reserved election.”

According to Mr Goh Meng Seng’s Facebook post, Dr Tan has engaged Senior Counsel Chelva Rajah of Tan, Rajah and Cheah for his case. Dr Tan also has the written submission of UK’s top constitutional lawyer, Lord David Pannick.

Dr Tan said he will say more on the matter if the Court accepts his application.