Elected Presidency System Review – A Suggestion


By: B Goode

Now that members to the Constitutional Commission which will review the Elected Presidency system have been named, I have a suggestion to make.

And it is a brilliant one. That’s the effect of having too many Mandarin oranges because Vitamin C can actually boost your brain power.

Bear in mind that the Commission, chaired by Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon, will look into three key aspects of the system; to keep the eligibility criteria for potential candidates up to date, to beef up the powers of the Council of Presidential Advisers, and to ensure minority candidates have a chance to be elected.

The solution is so simple that it can make anyone who comes out with the idea (me) seems like he is in a wheelchair, head flopped to one side and talking via a voice amplifier attached to his throat speaking about quantum physics.

Why not have the Council of Presidential Advisers be elected as a team instead of only the President? And the President will be chosen from amongst them by the team itself?

This is like killing two birds and a rabid stray dog with one stone.

I think this is only fair because the Prime Minister has his whole Cabinet, the MPs, grassroot leaders, government bureaucrats and his party machinery to support him on any policies that he makes.

The President on the other hand, only has to depend on just himself. His advisers don’t really count for much because they are selected by the Prime Minister.

With this suggestion, the Presidency will consist of not only the President, but the elected Council of Advisers which will get some boost as far as the aura of independence is concerned.

So let’s say they shall be five Advisers. Candidates would have to form a team of five (duh). Each member must meet the eligibility criteria set-out and they campaigned as a team.

And in order to ensure that minority candidates have a chance to be President, each team must have at least one member from the minority group.

Should they win the election, they will then meet and choose one from amongst them to represent them to give a toast or two should the Queen of England make a visit, to wit, to be the President.

Imagine this dream team of George Yeo, Gerald Ee, S Jayakumar, Halimah Yacob and one animal lover. What can possibly go wrong?

And of course they will choose Halimah Yacob to be the President because, its time.


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