Pritam Singh wishes Tharman success as next President, restates WP’s stand on 'shortcomings & problems' of Elected Presidency

Singh also responded to a comment about his polling day attire.

Daniel Seow | September 03, 2023, 12:34 PM



The Workers' Party has also extended its well-wishes to president-elect Tharman Shanmugaratnam following his resounding success in the 2023 Presidential Election.

This was shared in a Facebook post by Workers' Party secretary-general Pritam Singh on Sep. 2. Singh's post was also reshared on the official Workers' Party Facebook page.

While noting the Workers' Party’s contrarian views on the Elected Presidency, Singh wrote that "none of this should detract from not just the victory, but the campaign run by president-elect Tharman Shanmugaratnam".

"The Workers’ Party wishes the president-elect and his family well, and great success as the next President of Singapore," he said.

WP's views on the Elected Presidency

Singh said that the Workers’ Party's position on the Elected Presidency is well-known.

He added that this had been made clear since the introduction of the scheme in 1991, in their GE2020 manifesto, and was most recently communicated to the mainstream media earlier this week, when the party provided its views on the 2023 presidential elections.

In that most recent statement on Aug. 30, the Workers' Party confirmed that they were not endorsing any presidential candidate.

Instead, the party's stance is that the elected presidency should be abolished in favour of a ceremonial presidency — where the president is appointed by Parliament.

The party also believes the current qualifying criteria for candidates skews towards "PAP-approved candidates".

In his post, Singh also referenced the report of the 2016 Constitutional Commission, which was led by Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon and tasked to review the Elected Presidency. He said it included a section where commission members "were keen to share as citizens" about the shortcomings and problems of the Elected Presidency.

He pointed out that the section suggested how a reversion to an appointed Presidency could be considered in future.

"There are other institutions and national policies that the Workers’ Party believes should be overhauled or changed. We will continue to advance these alternatives in the course of our political work, and undertaking the check and balance role in Parliament which is a key responsibility of an elected parliamentary opposition," Singh added.

Couldn't wear his pineapple-print shirt to vote

On a lighter note, Singh addressed Mothership's comments about his polling day attire.

He was referring to a Mothership Instagram post on Sep. 1, which showed him and his wife leaving the Maris Stella High School polling station. It was captioned, "at this point, I'm starting to think Pritam’s closet only has blue shirts."

View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Mothership (@mothershipsg)

Here's a picture of what he wore:

Image by Denise Tan.

In response, Singh admitted that blue is his favourite colour.

That said, he stressed that he does have other shirts, attaching a photo as proof.

However, the pineapple-print shirt in the photo could not be worn on polling day as it bore the candidate symbol of Tharman Shanmugaratnam.

Photo from Pritam Singh on Facebook.

Singh noted that this particular shirt "lay untouched for two weeks".

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Top image by Denise Tan / Andrew Koay