99.97% don’t qualify to stand as President?


I refer to the article “Firms with $500 million capitalisation in minority” (thenewpaper, Sep 1).

It states that “The criteria has tightened for private sector contenders, who must now have run a company of a higher worth.

To automatically qualify, the candidate must be the most senior executive of a company with shareholder equity of at least $500 million for the last three years, an increase from the previous threshold of a $100 million paid up capital.

According to Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority data from March last year, there were 691 Singapore-incorporated companies with shareholders’ equity at or exceeding $500 million.”

As to “The upcoming Presidential Election, if contested, will see 2.5 million Singaporeans go to the polling stations on Sept 23” – does it mean that about 99.97 per cent (691 divided by 2.5 million) of the voting population may not qualify to stand for election under the private sector qualification?

If so, we may arguably have the most restrictive and elitist presidential election rules in the history of the world.

By the way, how many Malays qualify?

Leong Sze Hian

About the Author

Leong Sze Hian has served as the president of 4 professional bodies, honorary consul of 2 countries, an alumnus of Harvard University, authored 4 books, quoted over 1500 times in the media , has been a radio talkshow host, a newspaper daily columnist, Wharton Fellow, SEACeM Fellow, columnist for theonlinecitizen and Malaysiakini, executive producer of Ilo Ilo (40 international awards), Hotel Mumbai (associate producer), invited to speak more than 200 times in about 40 countries, CIFA advisory board member, founding advisor to the Financial Planning Associations of 2 countries. He has 3 Masters, 2 Bachelors degrees and 13 professional  qualifications.