Acting Education Minister Ong Ye Kung went on TV on Monday (Aug 29) to make a case for the pending changes to the Elected Presidency. He argued that the changes would safeguard minority representation. He said that this was important as the primary purpose of the President is to represent Singapore as head of state, and so all races should have a chance to be elected.
Several minority netizens who responded to Channel NewsAsia Facebook post on Mr Ong’s views on the topic however disagreed with the Minister.
Facebook user Zain Kazmi said: “I must say, Mr.Ong explained his viewpoint very rationally and logically on the show. On the one hand, this view does make sense. On the other, it completely flips the notion of meritocracy and multiculturalism — because what’s to say that positive discrimination cannot be abused one day? This argument is a slippery slope to the introduction of racial quotas. People will one day demand such reservations to be implemented also for the post of PM, and perhaps even in more ordinary, day to day jobs. Instead of focussing on the race of the candidates, we should be focussed upon finding the best candidates! Singaporeans can judge who to vote for just fine. If not, get rid of the Elected Presidency altogether. Let’s not have pre-decided ‘democratic’ outcomes.”
Hassan Al Manna said: “I don’t see the importance of having a Malay President or PM. I want an honest President and PM. Why put a Malay President who is a puppet? Or have a corrupt Chinese PM? I need an honest leader (regardless of race).
Shyam Rodiz: “Does all races got chance to be a PM? Why discuss…presidency role (which) is more of a customary role!”
David Muthu: “Hope next PM will be also from minority group. (It’s) just to prevent Tan (Cheng Bock) from contesting. They playing dirty politics again.”
Ari Tumijo: “Shouldn’t this apply for the PM position as well? ? #justsaying”
Bbong Ramly: “I think no change needed… we are the Singaporeans….not Aliens.”
Facebook user James Tan who is not a minority and had one of the most number of likes for his comments on the post, said: ” I don’t think any logical Singaporean will object against any race taking up the role of importance. We do however, prefer someone who is truly qualified to their task, don’t give us some semi standard person to put him or her on the stage and tell us need him/her to be there just because of the need of minority race to be taking a position of power.”