Home News Featured News Not a plus point politically but the right thing to do says...

Not a plus point politically but the right thing to do says PM Lee on reserving the elected presidency for minority candidates

“How would the minorities feel if year after year, the President of Singapore were almost always Chinese? In the long term, such a scenario would foment deep unhappiness, and erode the founding values of our nation,” said the PM

Author

Date

Category

- Advertisement -

Singapore— At the ruling People’s Action Party PAP65 Awards and Convention at the Singapore Expo on Sunday, November 10, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong admitted that the choice to amend the constitution to reserve the elected presidency for minority candidates at specific periods had been a “political minus” both for the government and for PAP, but it had been the right thing to do.

The Prime Minister had said that he was aware that not everyone in the country was in favour of the amendment, but he knew he needed to make the choice anyway, for the long-term good of Singapore, The Straits Times (ST) reports.

He said to the more than 2,500 PAP activists attending the conference, “Overall, from a short term perspective, this issue is probably a political minus for the government, for the PAP. But this is part of governing.”

Moreover, the Prime Minister emphasized that he knows the decision he made was right for Singapore, saying, “I am convinced that we did the right thing. We must never, ever be afraid to do what is right for Singapore.”

PM Lee mentioned the issue to give an example of when the country needed to firm up the institutions that uphold Singapore’s multicultural society bringing up the challenges non-Chinese candidates would face in winning the presidency via a national vote.

He said, “How would the minorities feel if year after year, the President of Singapore were almost always Chinese? In the long term, such a scenario would foment deep unhappiness, and erode the founding values of our nation.”
- Advertisement -

Therefore, this led him to take the “major step” in the form of a constitutional amendment, having throughly perused the issue with the other ministers.

His sentiments on Sunday echoed what he said two years ago, over the decision, which had been unpopular with some.

He said at a People’s Association Kopi Talk dialogue then, “Did I know that this subject would be a difficult one? That it would be unpopular and would cost us votes? Yes, I knew. If I do not know that these are sensitive matters, I cannot be in politics.

But I did it, because I strongly believe, and still do, that this is the right thing to do.’

He added that he could feel that there had been “some unhappiness” over the decision.

It took the government almost two years of preparation for the change, which he said even in 2017 had been meant to make the multiracial system in Singapore even stronger.

He said, “The current state of affairs, where Singaporeans of different races and religions live in harmony, is not a given

There is nothing natural about where we are – multiracial, multi-religious, tolerant and progressive. We made it happen, and we have got to protect it, nurture it, preserve it, and never break it.” -/TISG

Read also: DPM Heng: Two rescue jobs so far. He has to do much better

DPM Heng: Two rescue jobs so far. He has to do much better

 Follow us on Social Media

Send in your scoops to news@theindependent.sg 

- Advertisement -

Calvin Cheng cautions: “The PAP needs to remember how to be a political party”

Singapore -- Former Nominated Member of Parliament (NMP) Calvin Cheng took to social media to say that the era of Lee Kuan Yew-style politics was over. In a Facebook post on Tuesday (Apr 13), Mr Cheng wrote about politics in Singapore. “For half...

Those who recover from Covid-19 may be at risk for blood clotting: S’pore study

Singapore – According to a study by the Nanyang Technological University (NTU), people who have recovered from Covid-19 may face risks of blood clot formation due to an overactive immune response. Covid-19 patients, especially those with pre-existing cardiovascular conditions, may be at...

Tan Cheng Bock and Goh Chok Tong were apparently from the same CCA in RI

Singapore -- Known to have been close friends once, Dr Tan Cheng Bock and Mr Goh Chok Tong recently attended the same scouting event at Raffles Institution, indicating that they were likely from the same CCA as well. In a Facebook post...
Follow us on Social Media

Send in your scoops to news@theindependent.sg 

Theindependent