Businessman Farid Khan has been unveiled as a Presidential hopeful in the run-up to the Presidential Election this year.
The upcoming Presidential Election will be a reserved election for candidates from the Malay community. Mr Khan is of Pakistani descent and his wife is of Arabic decent but he said that he and his family very much consider themselves part of the Malay community in Singapore.
With 40 years of experience in the maritime industry, 62-year-old Mr Khan serves as Chairman of Bourbon Offshore Asia, a leading offshore oil & gas marine provider in the region, and founded Bumi Subsea, an undersea operation firm. He sits on the Careers@Maritime Steering Committee – an initiative supported by the Maritime & Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) that aims to grow awareness about jobs in the maritime industry.
On whether he feels the heat of competition from MP Halimah Yacob who is widely expected to be the establishment candidate in the coming election, Mr Khan said that there is a place for everyone to contest. He added that he would have intended to contest the election even if it was not a reserved election.
In his speech at a press conference today, Mr Khan said that if he is elected as President of Singapore, he will focus his efforts on tackling radicalism in the nation and on strengthening Singapore’s social fabric by helping the needy, helping to build trust between the various racial and religious groups in Singapore and by creating more jobs:
“I wish to serve the nation which I feel capable of doing so to the best of my knowledge and ability.
“First and foremost, I am very concerned about the growing threat of radicalism. If elected, I will work closely with the Government and various organisations to resolve this issue.
“Second, I would like to strengthen the trust among the people regardless of race and religion.
“Third, let us enhance our efforts in helping the needy, including troubled youth, to strengthen our social fabric.
“Fourth, let us enhance our prosperity by creating more opportunities, including jobs from the maritime sector and to other sectors of the economy.
“Fifth, let us strengthen our families as the building blocks of our society.
“Let us build this nation together to create a united, just and compassionate society.”
Following the press conference, Mr Khan proceeded to a nearby restaurant to greet and mingle with his supporters.