5 things our political noobs experienced on Presidential Election Nomination Day
Why did nobody boo?
Nomination day, as we have just found out by googling, is the day that candidates submit their nomination papers to the Returning Officer (the person in charge of overseeing elections).
For the reserved Presidential Election, it fell on Sep. 13, where
candidates were the only qualified candidate was required to go to the nomination centre at the People’s Association headquarters at King George Ave.
Two of us political noobs were sent to cover the event (one can’t even vote yet), and here are five things we experienced:
1. Haters, where you at? No really, where are you guys?
Ever since the walkover was announced, the internet has been swarmed with negative comments and the hashtag #NotMyPresident even trended on social media.
But where were these people on the ground?
Now, we at Mothership.sg do not condone hate, but we’re still slightly surprised that there were no jeers at all, considering our previous president had his fair share of boos on his Nomination Day six years ago :
Maybe it’s because there was only one qualified candidate.
But let’s not lie to ourselves – having a little drama won’t do any harm.
2. Why so boring one?
We don’t know what we were expecting, but we definitely wanted more.
Aside from two incidents, the event was a little … uneventful.
The first was a short Ooi Boon Ewe episode (a 76-year-old private tutor who has been trying to run for various elections since 1999), where he insisted on entering the Nomination Centre despite being ineligible:
The second, Chris Treewizard’s Halimah Yacob figurine:
Because there was no contest, there were also no opposing supporters that could have added a little oomph to Nomination Day.
The event thus turned out to be pretty underwhelming, and most of the time we were just standing around and wondering when it’s going to be over (because lunch, people).
You see that? We’re in there, somewhere.
Today’s weather was predicted to be at 33°C, but that’s probably a lie because it felt like 100°C. Check out all the squinty-eyed people in the photo.
But thankfully, Halimah’s supporters had bright orange umbrellas bearing her logo, which we subtly took refuge in. That’s one merchandise we truly enjoyed!
It doesn’t sound so bad here, but wait till we get to…
4. The whistleblowers
No, this is not a pirated version of The Chainsmokers, and we’re not talking about those who spill the beans, either.
We mean it quite literally. Here, take a listen (tip: lower headphone volume first):
Everybody there seemed to have never blown a whistle in their entire life and were using it at any given opportunity. We don’t think Rose blew this loud when the Titanic sank.
One of us even had our ears momentarily blocked because some dude beside us kept whistling into it. Geez.
But we get it, Halimah is rewriting history as Singapore’s first female Malay-Muslim president and it’s a joyous moment for her supporters.
5) The media scrum
This was bad. Real bad. Lots of media personnel with in-your-face cameras were just flocking around Halimah and guarding their spot aggressively.
Even Halimah got squished:
We know what this looks like, but our colleague didn’t push anybody to get her photos. Promise.
We, on the other hand, got shoved around a good bit. Pft.