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Will there be a referendum if Elected President scheme is changed? Lina Chiam




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Singapore People’s Party (SPP) has responded to the President’s Address, and in particular to his statement that there will be changes to our political system.
President Dr Tony Tan had in his Address at the opening of the 13th Parliament said:
“The Government will study this matter (election of President) carefully, to see whether and how we should improve our political system so that we can be assured of clean, effective, and accountable government over the long term.”
Soon after his Address, Mr Kishore Mahbubani, Dean of the School of Public Policy, in his op-ed for The Straits Times had suggested that the elected presidency scheme should be reverted to its original form, whereby the president would be elected by Parliament.
Referring to the President’s Address and the idea floated by the Dean soon-after, SPP asked if there “is there really a serious need to keep tweaking the political framework”.
Saying that Parliament has had such debates before, SPP pointed to the intense debates on the elected presidency scheme and the GRC scheme in the 1980s.
“Potong Pasir MP Chiam See Tong said that “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. As it has turned out, the government now looks inclined to revert the elected presidency scheme to its original form, now that it realises that it is not working in its favour,” said Mrs Lina Chiam, Chairman of the opposition political party.
Tweaking the Elected Presidency without the consensus and support of the people sets a dangerous precedent, said the former Non-Constituency Member of Parliament.
“Will there be a national referendum for the people to express their voice on these tweaks?”, she asked.
It is important to ask the Government if the changes proposed will be ultimately for the good of Singaporeans, she added.

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