The race to elect a President has begun for Singaporeans.
In what looks like THE MOST hotly contested elections (both General Elections and Presidential Elections) for Singaporeans, new media definitely thrives above all.
Just like the just ended General Elections, Singaporeans discussed heatedly online in all available platforms (Facebook, Blogs, Twitter, online forums, etc) on who was the better team to vote for. Some regretted their decision eventually for not voting carefully (Pasir Panjang, Joo Chiat and possibly East Coast GRC) or for not ensuring that their names were on the electorate.
This time, Singaporeans must now critically analyze the Presidential candidates.
The President has limited consitutional powers whereby he may:
- Exercise upon his own discretion or
- Those he must exercise in accordance with the advice of the Cabinet or Minister acting under general authority of the Cabinet of Singapore.
- He may also consult the Council of Presidential Advisers (CPA) with regards to his functions as a president if he wishes to do so
Based on the constitutional powers vested above in the President, he is/can/able to do the following:
- Block attempts by the government to draw down past reserves that it did not accumulate.
- Give approval for budgets of specified statutory boards and Government companies that wish to draw on their past reserves.
- Exercise personal discretion to withhold assent to any bill in Parliament providing directly or indirectly for the direct or indirect variation, changing or increase in powers of the Central Provident Fund Board to invest moneys belonging to it, and the borrowing of money, the giving of any guarantee or the raising of any loan by the Government (with regards to drawing on past reserves).
- Withhold assent to any Supply Bill, Supplementary Bill or Final Supply Bill for any financial year (with regards to drawing on past reserves).
- Empowered to make changes to key civil service positions.
- Has powers of oversight over Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau and decisions of the Executive under the Internal Security Act and the Maintenance of Religious Harmony Act.
With all such powers in place despite being a head of state, the President is able to effect changes to Singapore and as the head of state, the President is also Singapore’s No 1 Ambassador as he is often called to meet other dignitaries and hence is able to sought support from visiting dignitaries or when he travels abroad.
That said, the President should be someone whom Singaporeans can:
- TRUST their money with (someone who is adept at Finances since a lot of his job has to do with monetary reserves)
- RELY on so that he shall not abuse his discretionary powers and someone who is
- IMPARTIAL so as not to take sides with the Government if he has too many friends in there or taking sides with Singaporeans because he wants to remain popular – this ensures that the President will be able to make decisions for the betterment of Singapore and Singaporeans because not everything the Government does or what the people wants turns out to be good.
Based on the above, which of the four candidates then would best fit into the criteria above?
To find out more about the candidates, you can visit their Facebook page/website: