Sunday, 9 July 2017

High Court dismissed Tan Cheng Bock's challenge on Elected Presidency

Update 12 Jul 2017: Tan Cheng Bock to challenge High Court ruling on upcoming reserved Presidential Election
Tan Cheng Bock to challenge High Court ruling on upcoming reserved Presidential Election

Former presidential candidate Dr Tan Cheng Bock will appeal the High Court's dismissal of his legal challenge over the upcoming reserved Presidential Election.

"Yes, appealing through my lawyers today," Dr Tan said in a brief reply to TODAY via his spokesman, adding that he will share more details via a Facebook post later on Wednesday (July 12).

Last Friday (July 7), the High Court dismissed the legal challenge mounted by Dr Tan against the Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC) over the timing for the reserved presidential election.

related:
High Court throws out Dr Tan's challenge on upcoming reserved Presidential Election
Judgement reserved over Dr Tan’s constitutional challenge on EP
Dr Tan hits out at Hri Kumar for 'highly inflammatory' comments over EP challenge
Tan Cheng Bock questions timing of reserved election for president


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Tan Cheng Bock to appeal against court ruling on Presidential Election

Former presidential hopeful Tan Cheng Bock will appeal against a High Court decision to dismiss his application contesting the legitimacy of the upcoming reserved Presidential Election.

Wednesday (Jul 12) is the last day for Dr Tan to file an appeal, after Justice Quentin Loh’s decision last Friday to maintain the status quo that only Malay candidates are eligible to stand in the next presidential election due in September.

When Channel NewsAsia asked him on Wednesday if he plans to appeal, Dr Tan said: "Yes, appealing through my lawyers today."

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Dr Tan Cheng Bock 14 hrs

My fellow Singaporeans:
  • The High Court has decided against my application. My lawyers are studying the 65-page judgment in which Justice Quentin Loh acknowledged that I have “put forward serious arguments on the start of the count”.
  • I am, of course, disappointed with the result and will announce whether I will appeal, after this weekend.
  • Meanwhile, I am more disappointed with a Channel News Asia (CNA) report on 7 July 2017, 2.53 pm. In the paragraph titled “Dr Tan “Selfishly” Trying To “Undermine” Multi Racial Presidency’, the report quoted: [“His motives are purely selfish and he has shown no regard for the principle of multiracial representation which Parliament intended to safeguard,” Deputy Attorney-General (DAG) Hri Kumar Nair said.]
I wish to respond:
  • First, the report gave the impression that Justice Loh accepted the DAG’s remarks about me (which was also unfair and untrue). In fact, the judge did not entertain this submission anywhere in his judgment, presumably because that submission was irrelevant to the case.
  • Second, in my political life, I championed multi-racialism and continue to do so. I was fortunate enough to take care of a constituency comprising 27% Malay constituents. We served together well and they graciously supported me with record high election percentages including 88% in 2001. I am thankful for the great rapport I had with my Malay constituents and grassroot leaders – some of whom still continue to visit my home during Chinese New Year until this day.
  • For the DAG to call me “selfish” and having “no regard for the principle of multiracial representation” is hitting below the belt, highly inflammatory and encroaches into dangerous racial politics. The DAG is a public servant and an ex-PAP MP. He should not have made such a statement, which is now widely reported by the press.
  • This case is not about race. It is about process and procedures. It is about upholding the Constitution. Let’s keep it that way.

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Tan Cheng Bock’s constitutional challenge dismissed by High Court


In court documents obtained by Channel NewsAsia, the Attorney-General’s Chambers accused Dr Tan of “running a case that is entirely self-serving”.

“(Dr Tan) is advancing a strained interpretation of the Constitution so that he can apply to stand as a candidate in the coming (PE).

“His motives are purely selfish & he has shown no regard for the principle of multiracial representation which Parliament intended to safeguard,” Deputy Attorney-General (DAG) Hri Kumar Nair said.

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Deputy AG’s comment on Dr Tan Cheng Bock, highly inflammatory and encroaches into dangerous racial politics

In his Facebook posting on Friday evening, Dr Tan wrote that he is disappointed with the result and will announce whether he will appeal, after this weekend. He also shared that his lawyers are studying the 65-page judgment in which Justice Quentin Loh acknowledged that he has “put forward serious arguments on the start of the count”.

Dr Tan noted that he is more disappointed with a Channel News Asia (CNA) report made on 7 July 2017. In the paragraph titled “Dr Tan “Selfishly” Trying To “Undermine” Multi Racial Presidency’, the report quoted: [“His motives are purely selfish and he has shown no regard for the principle of multiracial representation which Parliament intended to safeguard,” Deputy Attorney-General (DAG) Hri Kumar Nair said.] He said that the report gave the impression that Justice Loh accepted the DAG’s remarks about Dr Tan, which is both unfair and untrue.

Dr Tan noted that the judge did not entertain this submission anywhere in his judgment, presumably because that submission was irrelevant to the case. He also pointed that he had championed multi-racialism throughout his political career and continue to do so.

related: Dr Tan Cheng Bock’s constitutional challenge on counting of Reserved Presidential Election, dismissed by High Court

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Tan Cheng Bock disappointed with Deputy Attorney-General’s comment hitting below the belt

Tan also said in his post that he was disappointed with the Channel News Asia report about the High Court’s dismissal, as it quoted certain remarks made by the Deputy Attorney-General Hri Kumar Nair that he deemed unfair.

This was after DAG Nair said Tan’s motives were “purely selfish” and that he had “shown no regard for the principle of multiracial representation”.

Tan said these comments were “hitting below the belt” and cited his previous overwhelming electoral victory as a PAP member of parliament in a constituency made up of 27 percent Malay constituents as evidence.

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Tan Cheng Bock: Deputy Attorney-General’s Remarks are Highly Inflammatory and Hitting Below the Belt
redwire-singapore-tan-cheng-bock-hri-kumar

First, the report gave the impression that Justice Loh accepted the DAG’s remarks about me (which was also unfair and untrue). In fact, the judge did not entertain this submission anywhere in his judgment, presumably because that submission was irrelevant to the case.

Second, in my political life, I championed multi-racialism and continue to do so. I was fortunate enough to take care of a constituency comprising 27% Malay constituents. We served together well and they graciously supported me with record high election percentages including 88% in 2001. I am thankful for the great rapport I had with my Malay constituents and grassroot leaders – some of whom still continue to visit my home during Chinese New Year until this day.

For the DAG to call me “selfish” and having “no regard for the principle of multiracial representation” is hitting below the belt, highly inflammatory and encroaches into dangerous racial politics. The DAG is a public servant and an ex-PAP MP. He should not have made such a statement, which is now widely reported by the press.

read more

High Court throws out Tan Cheng Bock's challenge on upcoming reserved Presidential Election
High Court throws out Tan Cheng Bock's challenge on upcoming reserved Presidential Election
Dr Tan has until Wednesday to appeal against the ruling

The High Court has on Friday (Jul 7) dismissed the legal challenge mounted by former presidential candidate Dr Tan Cheng Bock against the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) over the timing for the reserved presidential election.

In November last year, various changes were passed in Parliament to the Elected Presidency (EP) scheme, including the triggering of a reserved election for a particular race that has not seen an elected representative for 5 consecutive terms.

The Government, on the advice of AGC, started counting the 5 terms from Dr Wee Kim Wee’s presidency, forming the basis for the Government to trigger a reserved election for Malay candidates for the coming polls in September.

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Dr Tan Cheng Bock’s constitutional challenge on counting of Reserved Presidential Election, dismissed by High Court

The High Court has dismissed Dr Tan Cheng Bock’s constitutional challenge to determine whether the legislation that specified President Wee Kim Wee’s term of office as the first term to be counted was unconstitutional on Friday by Justice Quentin Loh.

Dr Tan's application (HC/OS 495/2017) which was made on 5 May, seeks the Court’s determination on whether a piece of legislation (section 22 Presidential Elections (Amendment) Act 6 of 2017 which counted President Wee Kim Wee as the first Elected Presidency term for the purposes of calling a Reserved Election), is consistent with Singapore Constitution (Articles 19B(1) and 164(1) which introduced the mechanism of a Reserved Election into Singapore Constitution).

Dr Tan in his press conference on Friday (31 March) asked the government whether it is correct to set the Presidential Election 2017 as a reserved election under the newly introduced amendments to the Elected Presidency and questioned whether AGC’s method of counting is actually in line with the spirit and purpose put forward by the Constitutional Commission for having a reserved election.

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Tan Cheng Bock's constitutional challenge on Elected Presidency fails

Tan Cheng Bock’s constitutional challenge to the timing of the reserved Presidential Election (PE) was rejected by the High Court on Friday (7 July).

The hearing at the High Court took place in chambers, which means that members of the public were not allowed to attend.

Tan’s legal application was dismissed without costs. He has until 12 July to file an appeal. Chelva Retnam Rajah, who is representing Tan, said his client will consider the judgement and make a decision over the course of next week.

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Reserved judgement on Tan Cheng Bock's legal challenge on Elected Presidency
Tan Cheng Bock

Judgement has been reserved in the constitutional challenge to the timing of the reserved Presidential Election (PE) by Tan Cheng Bock.

Speaking to reporters on Thursday (28 June) after a hearing on the case, Deputy Attorney-General Hri Kumar said that Justice Quentin Loh’s decision was expected in about a week. Both Kumar and Chelva Retnam Rajah, who is representing Tan, declined to comment on the arguments that were presented before the court.

The hearing at the High Court took place in chambers, which means that members of the public were not allowed to attend. Tan was not present in court.

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A Tribute to Singapore’s First Elected President
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SM Emeritus Goh Chok Tong recognisd Ong Teng Cheong as Spore's 1st Elected President

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The National Library Board calls Ong Teng Cheong Singapore’s first president to be elected into office

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HistorySG, a government-run portal called Ong Teng Cheong the first elected president

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Our National Archives shows that Ong took part in and won Singapore’s first presidential election

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Then-Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong also called Ong Teng Cheong Singapore’s first elected president in a condolence letter to to Ong Teng Cheong’s wife on his passing in 2002

redwire singapore ong teng cheong first elected president 3
The Istana website calls Ong Teng Cheong the first president to be popularly elected by the people

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Even international news calls Ong Teng Cheong Singapore’s first elected president

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So, government records say Ong Teng Cheong is Singapore’s first elected president

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