Singapore Elected President: why pay millions $$$ for a rubber-stamp?

It seems Ministers now have the duty to forewarn the public about the realities of the Elected President (EP) post. 

After S. Jayakumar, the Law Minister K. Shanmugam, now comes DPM Teo Chee Hean’s lecture about the EP. 

The public have known all along that the EP is nothing more than a  rubber-stamp, even if it’s a VIP one. 

The ruling party’s lecture is that the EP has no real powers and has to adhere to the Cabinet’s decisions.

 And with the ruling party’s resolve to stay in power at all cost, even if it means being repressive, no one needs to be surprised by an impotent elected Presidency that it had created.

As the first President Ong Teng  Cheong amply demonstrated, inquisitiveness into our reserves is not welcome.

So that’s why the ruling party has embarked on a road show to educate the public on the fact that the EP is essentially a puppet. All this talk about electing an EP with an independent mind is wishful thinking is its core message.

But the ruling party is going against the tide of public opinion. 

Singaporeans want an EP who can be really independent, not a rubber-stamp figure. The laws can be changed to accommodate their wishes. Man-made laws are not cast in stone.

People are also asking why this government, “famed” for its lack of generosity towards the poor and needy in our society,  can be so so generous as to pay the EP $16,000 A DAY for him just to be a rubber-stamp.

With such an impotent President, nobody is fooled into believing he can stop a determined future dictator from raiding our reserves. 


8 Responses to “Singapore Elected President: why pay millions $$$ for a rubber-stamp?”

  1. When OTC was elected by the people, the govt stonewalled him due to his “accountability”
    When SRN was selected by the govt, the president stonewalled the people due to his “duty”

    Electorate should ask now what would be the ideal outcome?
    I vote for an elected president, who will be accountable to his/her people, while fulfilling his duty with dignity, tact & professional collaboration with the govt. And for that to happen, look for someone who will campaign and win on those terms, regardless of the Party you supported in GE. There’s only 1 role – make it count!

    • Thank you for your insights. What has 2-term SRN really achieved as President? Shoe-horned into the Presidency by the ruling party, he “performed” to expectations, the ruling party’s that is!

  2. […] Presidential Election – A Look at Tan Kin Lian – life one degree north, one-o-three degrees east: The next Singapore president – Singapore Alternatives: Elected Presidency – What Kind of President? – TOC: Tan Cheng Bock: I refuse to compromise – Thoughts of a Singapore Statistician: Do you know about the relationship between DPM Teo Chee Hean and Dr Tony Tan? – SpotlightOnSingapore: Singapore Elected President: why pay millions $$$ for a rubber-stamp? […]

  3. So that when ministers compare their pay with his, they can see that they are having the short end, hence their reluctance to work all out for the people who elected them. Examples are Mah Boh Tan, Wrong Kan Sing, ViVien Bala, Yacoob etc. With this pay for the Rubber Stamp, $16K for the drain inspector at Marine Parade is sewage cheap. So what is Gerard Ee going to do?

    • When 3 ministers gave a lecture on EP, there’s a hidden agenda. Now we know …it was to pave the way for Tony Tan who announced his candidacy yesterday. No doubt about it, PAP loves to play Happy Family!

  4. The EP is the biggest booboo. i don’t mind paying millions to Singapore’s president Llike OTC and potentially TT because they are good people, who has done great for Singapore in their policy making. But let’s think aloud and look at the bigger picture.

    Do we need a president to protect Singapore reserve??? Which other country has such a system?? in the name of protecting reserve, it actually handicap the PM and his cabinet resulting in poor or sub-optimal policies which is foccussed on ST benifits at the expense of LT strategic good of Singapore. E.g of such poor policies includes the go ahead with casinos and liberal immigration policies.

    On one hand, I symphatise with PM Lee. On the other hand, I feel sad for SIngapore. I look at the Malaysia recently accounced economic policies. They are bold and strategic. I am afraid Malaysia will one day catch up with Singapore, because this EP constiuition does not encourage long-term strategic thinking. it conly channel the government to focussed on generating surplus (so there it goes with ERP, GST and less spending even if it is needed for future good). I sincerely urge the PAP government to quickly reverse such a policy mistake (i.e. EP) before it is too late.

  5. Frankly, I think you misunderstand what it is an Elected President is expected to do. Because he is voted in by the people, he has independence in doing certain specific tasks, which are clearly outlined in the Constitution. If you want to make the Elected President impotent, the fastest way to do it is to make him represent the people for everything else. He would become completely irrelevant in being a check and balance.

    Furthermore, being “the voice of the people” is not useful unless he has some means of carrying through and implementing policies. What other changes to the Constitution and government are you suggesting therefore?

  6. Malaysia’s policies may seem strategic, but their challenge is always in political execution. Their political system is too mired in populism and racial agendas, and their government is unable to push through difficult changes, even if everyone knows that it is good for the country. Go speak to a few political analysts. No one expects Malaysia to change anytime soon.

    Singaporeans aren’t special. We just have a government that is able to make difficult changes happen because our governance system is set up well. True, it needs to be more in touch with the needs of the people, and it needs to communicate its policies better. But I hope Singaporeans realise that these are changes that you have to make systemically, and that we shouldn’t try to win tactical victories like trying to electing an EP that is going to frustrate government about housing prices or transport problems.

    People have needs and they need to be heard. Government has short term and long term responsibilities and it needs to execute policies that are good for the people and the nation in the long term. An Elected Presidency that makes a lot of noise on behalf of the people does not address either of these. The answer is elsewhere.

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