Tan Cheng Bock predicts Halimah Yacob walkover will haunt ruling govt
Any dissatisfaction will be expressed at the next round of voting.
Former presidential candidate Tan Cheng Bock said on Wednesday, Sept. 13, that President-elect Halimah Yacob will occupy the “most controversial presidency in the history of Singapore”.
In a Facebook post, Tan first congratulated Halimah and wished her well, but proceeded to call the walkover “disappointing”.
He highlighted a news report which said Singaporeans were unhappy at this result.
Citing the 1993 presidential election as an example, Tan said the government then had at least two candidates for the people to choose from:
In fact, I recall that in 1993, the Government’s preferred candidate was Ong Teng Cheong. Everyone knew he would win. But Dr Goh Keng Swee still went out of his way to persuade Mr Chua Kim Yeow to stand for elections. Why? To prevent a walkover and give citizens the dignity of expressing their choice.
Tan then ended his note ominously, predicting that the ruling government will face the backlash in the next time citizens go to the polls:
People now feel muzzled and angry. Because when you take away our right to vote, you take away our political voice. You tell us that our choice does not matter.
PE 2017 has been a quiet affair. But there is now a deafening silence awakening the nation. We did not get a chance to speak with our vote this round, but the time will come. And when it does, it will be thunderous. Of this I am sure.
Halimah submitted her nomination papers on Wednesday morning and will be sworn in as Singapore’s eighth President on Thursday, Sept. 14.
Two other presidential hopefuls, Mohamed Salleh Marican and Farid Khan, had their applications to stand for the election turned down.
Both did not meet a new requirement for private-sector candidates to helm companies with at least S$500 million in shareholders’ equity.
The former Speaker of Parliament thus became a shoo-in for the role as the only person to qualify for the election, which was reserved for Malays following changes to the Elected Presidency.