Home News Gov’t worry minority-race president would not be elected, given present circumstances: Janil...

Gov’t worry minority-race president would not be elected, given present circumstances: Janil Puthucheary




- Advertisement -

The Reserved Election is needed because Singaporeans are not race-blind and all underlying related tensions still exist.

“If all those disappear, we will not need a racially reserved election,” Dr Janil said, in reply to a student’s question at the opening ceremony of the annual Pre-University Seminar on Tuesday.

Janil Puthucheary

“The problem is that they are present,” the minister continued. “And we are worried that given that they are present, it would not be possible for a minority president to be directly elected.”

- Advertisement -

Temasek Polytechnic student Ashley Liao, 19, had asked Dr Janil if he thought that it was “problematic” that affirmative action had to be introduced to the presidential election system.

Singapore’s Parliament had passed changes to the Presidential Elections Act (PEA) in January. The amendments provide for a Reserved Election – that is, if 5 consecutive terms of the presidency do not see any minority-race presidents, the next election will be reserved for only minority-race candidates to contest.

The election in September this year is a Reserved Election which, Dr Janil said, is “not a nice solution that we would wish on Singapore after 52 years of independence”.

“Wouldn’t it be great if we never had to have it?” he asked. “But it’s a marker of what we still have to solve. In my generation and yours.”

- Advertisement -

In the Reserved Election, there is a sunset clause which stipulates that if a minority president is elected in an open election, the racially reserved presidency will not need to happen.

The changes to the PEA had attracted criticisms from some, including former candidate, Tan Cheng Bock, who has filed a case in the court to compel the Attorney General to explain why the count of 5 terms would start with President Wee Kim Wee instead of President Ong teng Cheong.

Human rights advocate, M Ravi, has also filed a case with the courts, arguing that the changes to the EPA are unconstitutional because they infringe Article 12 of the Constitution which provides for the right to equality and protection under the law.

Anyone should therefore have the right to contest the elections, Mr Ravi argues.

- Advertisement -

The two cases are presently pending before the court.Follow us on Social Media

Send in your scoops to news@theindependent.sg 

- Advertisement -

Suspected Ang Mo Kio cat-slasher arrested

Singapore – A 37-year-old man has been arrested for his suspected involvement in a series of cat-slashing incidents in Ang Mo Kio. The Animal & Veterinary Service (AVS), an entity under the National Parks Board (NParks), conducted an operation on Tuesday (June...

Circles.Life telco comes under fire for ad that implies hierarchy between Chinese, Malays and Filipinos; company does not apologise

Update In an update, Circles.Life Singapore issued an apology on their Instagram page on Thursday (Jun 10).   View this post on Instagram   A post shared by Circles.Life (@circleslifesg) Delbert Stanley Ty, Head of Marketing also added: “We messed up. We’re sorry. Our posts were tone...

‘Badge Lady’ asks that charges against her be dropped, claims there were ‘errors’ in the investigation

Singapore — Phoon Chiu Yoke, or "Badge Lady" as she is called by netizens, has been released on S$8,000 bail after she was remanded at the Institute of Mental Health (IMH) for two weeks. The 53-year-old was infamously caught on camera refusing...
Follow us on Social Media

Send in your scoops to news@theindependent.sg