ST editor: PE walkover is “the best”?


I refer to the Straits Times’ editor-in-chief’s article “A very Singaporean dilemma in picking a president” (Sunday Times, Sep 3).

It states that “So what is Mr Teo and his committee to do?

Well, the best that can be done under these difficult circumstances, in my view, would be for the committee to accept that there is only one candidate who qualifies under the present rules spelt out by Parliament. Madam Halimah might then be declared elected into office unopposed on Nomination Day. This seems to be the option most people are now anticipating, going by the betting talk making the rounds.

The committee might also point out that the next election, as spelt out in the Constitution, will be an open one. The upshot of this is that while the new president might seem to have won an easy victory, she will have her work cut out for her. She will have to work hard at connecting with the people, upholding the office and generally doing a stellar job, in the hope of winning over some of the doubters, over time.

Then, six years from now, she should stand again, to defend her position in an open contest.”

Why is the Straits Times through its editor-in-chief arguably, in a sense, already campaigning for a walkover by one of the candidates, even before “the notice of contested election is issued“?

By the way, our Press Freedom ranking is at 151st in the world.

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.