Well, it’s out. The “proposed” changes to the Elected Presidency are now out and to the surprise of…no one, changes has been made. The next President Elections due in 2017 will only be limited to Malay candidates. To me, the fun wasn’t in the changes but the way various government personals and media are trying to explain the changes in a way that is digestible to the Singapore public.
Deputy Minister Minister Teo Chee Hean said the changes to the Elected Presidency will help avoid gridlock. I honestly have no idea our parliament is suffering gridlock right now with just 6 opposition Members of Parliament. I think the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP) need to find a way to make their 60+ advantage in Parliament work for them to prevent this.
Minister for Communications and Information Yaacob Ibrahim said the Malay candidate for the presidency must meet the same exacting standards as any other candidate from another race as if in the past if a Malay candidate stands for the Presidency, he will be of a lower standard. Trying to tackle the giant elephant in the room, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong insist the reserved election for the minority race is NOT a maneuver by the PAP to prevent the victory of the opposition in the 2017 presidential election.
Every single one of these “explanations” is laughable. Come on, everyone and their uncle in Singapore knows the only reason the PAP did all these changes is because Tan Cheng Bock came within a whisker of winning the past time and he is up for the election this time. Not able to find a way to stop him from contesting the election, they had to invent some way to stop him.
Thus, the PAP played the race card. And as an example of how gridlock the Singapore Parliament truly is right now, the change to our Constitution was announced by the PM Lee Hsien Loong and everyone said it in a language that shows that this is a done deal. That’s right, that changes to the Constitution of the Republic of Singapore! Now that’s gridlock for you.