Malay President, Chinese Prime Minister and Indian Chief Justice

Update 10 Nov 2019: Reserved presidency a 'political minus' but right thing to do: PM Lee
The move gives minority ethnic groups an assurance that their place in society will always be safeguarded, he said, just like how the group representation constituency system - which guarantees at least one candidate per constituency is from a minority race - ensures there will always be MPs from minority races in Parliament

The PAP secretary-general was referring to public unhappiness over the Constitutional amendments passed in November 2016, to reserve the elected presidency for candidates of a particular racial group if there had not been a president from the group for the five most recent presidential terms.

Critics said the decision went against Singapore's meritocratic values, and hundreds protested in Hong Lim Park days after the first election, reserved for Malays, saw Madam Halimah Yacob sworn in as President on Sept 14, 2017.

Mr Lee cited the issue as an example of how Singapore is proactively strengthening the institutions that support its multiracial and multi-religious society.

related: President Halimah's inauguration:Don’t overlook this key moment in Spore’s history

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PAP must never be afraid to do what is right for Singapore: PM Lee
The reserved Presidential Election in 2017 saw Madam Halimah Yacob elected unopposed

The People’s Action Party (PAP) must never be afraid to do what is right for Singapore, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Sunday (Nov 10), noting that not all Singaporeans agreed with the need for a reserved Presidential Election to ensure minority races in the Republic’s highest office.

“If you ask me, overall from a short-term perspective, this issue is probably a political minus for the Government, for the PAP. But this is part of governing. I am convinced that we did the right thing. We must never, ever be afraid to do what is right for Singapore,” said Mr Lee to around 2,500 party activists at the PAP65 Awards and Convention at the Singapore Expo. The conference was held to mark the 65th anniversary of the PAP’s founding on Nov 21, 1954.

The reserved Presidential Election in 2017 saw Madam Halimah Yacob elected unopposed, and Mr Lee also said then that he recognised the move was unpopular and could cause the ruling party to lose votes.

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K Shanmugam Sc Like This Page · 14 September at 07:48

Malay President, Chinese Prime Minister and Indian Chief Justice.
Representation of Singapore. — with KO KO Naing.

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Xiaxue shared K Shanmugam Sc's post 14 September at 11:05

Don't play identity politics because it's a slippery slope that never ends. You will end up dividing the nation as collectivism takes over, separating people by into divisive groups competing with each other for so called equality - when people are supposed to be treated as individuals.
"The smallest minority on Earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities." - Ayn Rand
Mr LKY has said Singapore is a meritocratic nation and its citizens should be judged by meritocracy - which is the fairest system there is - not given slack or victimhood status just because of race/religion/sexuality etc.

You want to start by saying there is a Malay President, a Chinese PM and an Indian Chief Justice?

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Avowed PAP supporter Xiaxue explains why she disagrees with how PE2017 was carried out

As most of you might know, Singaporean blogger Wendy Cheng (better known as Xiaxue), is a People’s Action Party (PAP) supporter.

Naturally, therefore, it came as a surprise to everyone when she took to her Facebook page with a lengthy, and pretty sharply-worded (certainly quite triggered) response to this otherwise-innocent-looking post by Minister for Home Affairs K Shanmugam.

In summary, she made the following points:
  • Indulging in identity politics is a bad idea and a slippery slope
  • The reserved election is a slap in the face of meritocracy
  • Singaporeans were not given the chance to vote for whoever we wanted for the presidency, regardless of race
  • President Halimah will always be characterised as a “Malay President” because that’s how she got elected

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Well, you’d never think it but even a well-known PAP supporter is pissed with the recent fiasco of what some called a rigged presidential (non)election of Halimah Yacob.

Xiaxue, who is not shy from speaking her mind and openly supporting (and campaigning) for PAP candidates (such as George Yeo), has posted an epic take-down of Law Minister K Shanmugam.

Mr Shanmugam had himself posted a photo of the swearing-in ceremony of Halimah Yacob, the newly installed unelected President of Singapore.

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Xiaxue calls Minister K. Shanmugam out for playing identity politics on Facebook

On Thursday evening (Sept 14), Minister of Home Affairs and Law K. Shanmugam posted a photo of President Halimah Yacob with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon on Facebook.

He captioned the photo: “Malay President, Chinese Prime Minister and Indian Chief Justice. Representation of Singapore.”

In response to this, Singaporean blogger Xiaxue wrote an 814-word long post accusing him, as well as the public, of playing identity politics on Friday (Sept 15).

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Law Minister K Shanmugam’s latest Facebook post shows a picture of PM Lee, newly unelected President Halimah Yacob, and Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon, at the swearing-in ceremony for the unelected president.

On the surface of it, the minister’s post indeed shows a multiracial veneer of this country, with each of the top positions being held by a member of a different race. This superficial reading of the post is apparently how some people viewed it, going by some of the comments posted on Mr Shanmugam’s page.

But on closer reflection of the photo, one cannot help but feel a certain sense of sadness and regret, at how the photo in fact has come to represent what is wrong with our system.

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Comments in K Shanmugam Sc Like This Page · 14 September at 07:48

Michael Chua Minister Sir we don't doubt the govt good intentions on representing all races... the thing that we are upset about is that, we don't get to choose our favourite food. You can take us to a Halal food court, but at least let us choose what type of Halal food we want.....See more
682 · 14 September at 15:41 · Edited
View previous replies

Keith Lee All the other stalls failed NEA inspection.
67 · 14 September at 18:09
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Wayne Chan Malay car park attendant, Chinese Ah Long, and Indian Security Guard. Also representative of Singapore. Majulah multiracial Singapura!
268 · 14 September at 17:47
16 Replies

Weeteck Yeoh I would really love to have an Indian PM!! #TharmanforPM
318 · 14 September at 08:43 · Edited
8 Replies

Adeline Thia The correct caption should be
A Hardworking PM, A Persevering President and A Fair/Just Chief Justice ...See more
228 · 14 September at 19:13
10 Replies

Adeline Lee Met her once. She is a humble, unassuming, serious and cares for workers. Congrats. And to all the women in Singapore!
107 · 14 September at 08:53
16 Replies

Liting Fang Shallow representation of Singapore. We are more than just different race. Coming from our minister, this is disappointing.
63 · 14 September at 18:27

Morhan Karup "Regardless of race, language or religion...." I always believe in being Singaporean first !!!...See more
48 · 14 September at 21:10
3 Replies

Foong Swee Fong Sir, I am not trying to be cheeky, but why is it that the PM cannot be non-Chinese? I think all Singaporeans would appreciate an honest answer, even if it is sensitive. ...See more
50 · 14 September at 18:07
14 Replies

Hock Leong It's difficult to please everybody. Break through the fog. You have to what is right for the country, even when there are people who disagree. The big picture is always more important. That's what a leader is all about.
47 · 14 September at 09:02
9 Replies

Padma Chinnadurai I am confident she will make a good president. I have no doubt that our government will always promote multi racialism. The day my daughter who belong to the younger generation told me that she will never emigrate to another country as she feel that singapore belongs to her and the most safest country in the world she make me a proud mother.
34 · 14 September at 15:56
3 Replies

Sam Lim SK It will be better if you have another prime minister that understands the ground instead of the current one regardless of race, language or religion, for the betterment of our country's sake.
33 · 14 September at 09:58

As'ad Nazif Mustapah It doesn't matter if all are different races. All three of them could be Indian for all I care. To me, if they're Singaporeans and are fit for the responsibility that is upon them, then race and religion shouldn't matter! ...See more
32 · 14 September at 22:43 · Edited
2 Replies

Julie Chin Singapore is NOT part of China hor. We may be a Chinese majority Country but we are made up of many races and religions. We walk the talk. My multiracial Home. Lovin' it ! 🇸🇬❤️
35 · 14 September at 18:27
3 Replies

Benson Tan She could and should have won it in an open election
36 · 14 September at 08:08
13 Replies

Kwang Heng Leow Please stop all the pat-own-shoulder "congratulatory messages" already. A true win is when a candidate wins based on his / her own merits, not cos of race and/or gender. This is not it. So please stop playing up with this facade. Have some decency.
18 · 15 September at 06:25 · Edited

Mervyn Goh Dear Minister,
You are absolutely right. No one said that PM must be Chinese. Our Parliament follows the Westminster system. The PM must first command the confidence of his MP - elected by the people, to lead the Party. The MPs will choose whom they ...See more
16 · Yesterday at 06:31
3 Replies

Tesmond Loke Bk Biggest Joke
For our President's safety and security, Mdm Halimah please move to Istana.
Staying at Hdb, doesn't prove your humility, only shows you are not thinking hard enough. ...See more
14 · 14 September at 19:14
3 Replies

Kelvin Yee Deverting attention of the public that the fact this election was rigged. Changing the criteria to best suit PAP candidates, making it a reserved election to limit potential candidates. The presidential position should be open to all races reguardless race or gender. As long he/she is born in Singapore will have the opportunity to become the president if deemed qualified. Sad to see such dirty moves.
10 · 15 September at 04:33 · Edited
3 Replies

Hikari Mori Sorry. I choose to be colour blind. My leaders shall be leaders because they are capable and not because of the colour of their skin
14 · 15 September at 06:37

Edwin David Goh If Michael Palmer was ard as Speaker, All 4 races will be represented. LOL!
12 · 14 September at 08:20 · Edited

Yeo Siang Huat Thank God! at least we don't have a President who sell peanuts and a scuffle parliament before. We don't want a President always fighting with our PM. This is another new balance system which works effectively in and out SG. 😊🇸🇬🎶🌈👍🌅🎉⚡️✌️ 8 · 14 September at 18:25
3 Replies

Seng Lau The amount of protest on dear minister's Facebook is quite apparent. Forget hong Lim park or whatever legal gathering to protest this whole charade
This is the first time I see such boldness and it's definitely not just from the 30% but also a large p...See more
7 · 15 September at 09:04
1 Reply

Ng Hian Meng Where is the Lozarios, Gomez's and the Pereiras? In 2 years, it shall be Singapore's bi-centennial celebrations but it already feels as if we've been transported back to the founding days of Singapore - days when the British divide the races and rule.
4 · 15 September at 18:49 · Edited

Jeremy Sing I find this post so insulting to the intelligence of Singaporeans. Coming from a man who wants to decide for us what is fake news and real news.
10 · 15 September at 09:59

Toh Kian Lam If we can accept a Malay female President, then we should also be willing to embrace an Indian Prime Minister.
27 · 14 September at 14:31

Isaac Hong Zhi-Yang I wholeheartedly disagree with you, our dear minister. Turn the camera around and you will see the real representatives of Singapore. Those who are in the audience and those behind the screens of the phones/tablets etc looking at this picture of yours....See more
4 · Yesterday at 10:29

Peter Pang Sir, I see only Singaporeans in this photo. We speak the same Singlish. We drink the same New Water. We pay the same ERP. We take the same SMRT and SBS. We hold the same pink IC. We recite the same pledge. We sing the same Majulah Singapura. Don't divide us. Thanks.
8 · 15 September at 13:36 · Edited

Jeslyn Ho But, the halal food court has many Malay stalls, only problem, the other stall holders choose not to open, and those others who are open, got a C grade for its hygiene...
4 · 15 September at 04:20 · Edited

Awang Ali Machan Honour and shame from no condition rise, Act your part well, There all the honour lies......See more
1 · 15 September at 03:04aster Ravindranath Height of Racial harmony... Let us take pledge to maintain with all our heart n soul rendered effort.
6 · 14 September at 08:24

Kalai Natarajan How about best man/woman for the job? I have no doubt that the Chief Justice earned his place and so did the Prime Minister, despite the many advantages. As for the newly (s)elected President, the jury is still out.
1 · 15 September at 01:36 · Edited

Anthony Michael Tan 3 Chinese PMs, it is time to change too. Tharman for PM.
18 · 14 September at 15:29 · Edited
1 Reply

Simon Teo Dear Sir, I do not think that this representation is something that we can be proud of. When did we select them based on races? Well, except for the President. The correct heading should be: ...See more
4 hrs · Edited

Vincent Lim I said the same thing to my daughter. True representation of Singapore. 🇸🇬
16 · 14 September at 07:54
2 Replies

Eng-Joo Gay This is superficial representation at best. Since you guys got this started, may i suggest that we do racial rotation for the PM and CJ too?
1 · 15 September at 18:45

Alice Leeang Is your caption even necessary? The point is, it was RESERVED and SELECTED. That is not the Singapore I know #sadlifefortruebluesingaporeans #notmypresident
12 · 14 September at 16:51
5 Replies · 1 hr

黄龍强 The history in the making... We Singapore are not racist or sexist, it is good to have Madam President to supervise Singapore for a change.
Perhaps we may have a female Prime Minister in the forthcoming GE.
6 · 14 September at 17:31

Rishi Arsh I'm not into what race or religious here as Long she do her best not to make any Singaporeans and Others suffers and in the return is Peace living Lifestyle 😊
Yesterday at 10:13

Jin Hon It doesn't matter what race become the president, why use race as a condition for one to be a president ? We need a capable president, regardless of race
15 · 14 September at 13:00

Jonus Jun The sitting arrangement is wrong, LHL shld be on the top, with strings attached to the president and CJ..
1 · 15 September at 17:47

Teck Chuan Koh So are we going to maintain this representation in a permanent manner through the 3 independent state organs?
2 · 14 September at 17:53

Tiat Leong Ang I thought it's Chinese PM, Indian but constitutionally a Malay President and an Indian Chief Justice...
2 · 15 September at 23:14
1 Reply

Tjudin Tjong Good representation from the Malay, Indian and the Chinese. However, not all the people think so. Especially the anti PAP! 69+% are ok.
14 September at 22:22

Justin Goh Really greatest joke of the century😁😁. Thanks for the hard thinking. For heaven's sake, take away the "Elected" title since it is such a dishonourable thing to win the race by disqualification of others who have at least better financial experiences. Did the Elated President has even a $100 million experience? #Notmypresident!
3 · 15 September at 14:14
2 Replies

Vincent Khoo How about Indian PM, Malay President, Filipino Chief Justice???
5 · 14 September at 15:32
1 Reply

Cheng Eak Chew Everything that's happening got to Hv a good start w/ right intention ... I believe SG has embarked on the right path .. and PM LHL has his own great idea and noble intention for next era of SG and its nation ... formulating a system and policies that ...See more
14 September at 21:22 · Edited

Lee Jeremy Don't treat us like idiots. The appointment of the executive, legislature and president can always be orchestrated. What cannot be orchestrated is the racial representation in our Football team. And it is a symptom that the social fabric in Singapore i...See more
3 · 14 September at 21:24 · Edited

Jason Chua Chin Seng Multiracialism for the win
17 · 14 September at 07:51
1 Reply

Jayaraman Velmurugan வாழ்த்துக்கள் சிங்கப்பூர் அமைதியும் வளமும் மென்மேலும் உயர உலகரங்கின் பல்வேறு சமூக மக்களின் ஒற்றுமையின் முன்னுதாரணமாக திகழும் என் இரண்டாம் தாய்வீட்டிற்கு மீண்டும் ஒருமுறை வாழ்த்துகள்
11 · 14 September at 08:02

Olivia Alvilo Not a single malay to be seen in this photo
11 · 14 September at 11:49

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It is one of the worst kept secrets this year, where she decided not to say yes until everything has been sorted out (she had to talk to her family, residents, consider her existing duties etc etc).

It’s not like she can suka suka drop everything and go for the presidency, and if she loses, it’s not like she can just say “Can put me back as Speaker?” right?

So what other worst-er kept secrets did Halimah Yacob have that maybe you already knew (or can just pretend you did)?
  • Halimah Yacob’s a Malay (no, you don’t say!)
  • She was a lawyer who took companies to court over workers’ rights
  • She started working at 8 years old at an illegal pushcart
  • She studied at Singapore Chinese Girls’ School
  • She lives in a 5 room HDB flat in Yishun

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President Halimah Yacob to move out of Yishun HDB flat due to security 'challenges'
President-elect Halimah Yacob's block in Yishun. TODAY file Foto

President Halimah Yacob will soon move out of the jumbo Yishun flat where she & her family have stayed for over 2 decades, due to challenges in ensuring her security & protection.

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said in a statement on Monday (Oct 2) that it had conducted an assessment after Madam Halimah expressed a wish to continue living in her family's Housing & Development Board (HDB) flat, which is made up of two adjacent 4-room & 5-room flats bought on the resale market.

But the security agencies found "several challenges" in ensuring the President's security in her current home, the ministry added without giving details.

Criticisms of Elected Presidency persist despite explanations and justifications

In a Today report dated 15 September 2017, it is reported that despite the fact that it was the week of firsts for Singaporean to have the first reserved election which resulted in the city state's first woman President and the first Malay Head of State in 47 years, criticism of the election process for the Elected Presidency (EP) has persisted online.

Madam Halimah Yacob, 63, was sworn in on 14 September as President. However, instead of revelling in her role on a historic occasion, she had to answer questions about how she was going to unite a country divided by her election.

The report noted that the biggest reason why the criticism arose was because Singaporeans were denied to vote as the government had disqualified two other potential candidates.

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PM Lee Candidly Repeats Need for Reserved Election, Receives Candid Responses Calling for His Head

Okay, we know that many Singaporeans (online, at least) are sore at the way recent “selected presidency” that was PE2017. Their main gripe is with the process, namely the government’s amendment of the Constitution, barring of independent candidates, and starting the count for our first elected president from an earlier appointed president.

The Prime Minister’s Office yesterday released an edited transcript of candid remarks PM Lee Hsien Loong made to about 500 grassroots leaders at a People’s Association Kopi Talk dialogue on Saturday (23 Sept) defending the need for a reserved presidency.

This was published by state media and, hilariously, candid remarks from netizens came streaming in calling for the PM Lee to step aside come the next General Election for a minority-race prime minister.

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DPM Tharman ‘would have preferred a contest’ for Presidential Election

Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam said on Wednesday that he would have preferred a contest in the recent Presidential Election

Speaking at the first Majulah Lecture organised by the Nanyang Technological University on Wednesday (20 Sept), Tharman was quizzed on the 2017 Presidential Election after the lecture, according to media reports.

One student asked if the reserved presidential election is an indication that Singapore is “regressing as a society”, despite Singaporeans growing up reciting a pledge with the words “regardless of race, language or religion”.

In response, Tharman said while he was “proud” that Halimah Yacob was the first Malay president in 47 years, he told the audience of more than 1,500 it was “understandable” that Singaporeans had questions about the recent election, which was reserved for Malay candidates.

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A mockery of democracy in Singapore
The Speaker of Parliament Halimah Yacob joins residents of her Marsiling ward at the launch of their Orchid and Edible Gardens cum Hari Raya celebration. Photo: AFP
Meltwater, a global media monitoring house, found that 83% of social media users had a negative reaction to the election result, with only 17% positive. Singapore is one of the world’s most cyber-connected cities, with over 77% of the population active on social media

“It seems to me that the top government leaders have been going into overdrive, trying hard to convince Singaporeans that the elected presidency is an integral pillar of Singapore’s commitment to multiracialism,” said Sylvia Lim, chairman of the opposition Workers’ Party, in parliament. “The government now appears to be well-aware of the unhappiness on the ground caused by its maneuvers to install president Halimah.”

Others resented how the uncontested race perpetuated an unflattering stereotype that ethnic Malays are unable to succeed without state hand-outs and affirmative action policies. Singapore’s resident 3.9 million population, not including the expatriate population, consists of 74.3% ethnic Chinese, 13.3% ethnic Malays and 9.1% Indian, and 3.2% Eurasians and other groups, according to official census data.

Social media users questioned the three initial potential candidates self-professed ethnic origins from the Indian subcontinent, sparking the type of race-based mockery authorities have long suppressed and discouraged. Others claimed the episode revealed the PAP – which views itself as a guardian of the city-state’s delicate multiethnic balance – as playing racial politics.

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