Thoughts on SG presidential elections, by Mark
Thanks for the article (a2ed: No to a Chinese President for Singapore). You're quite right that the president is going to be quite empowered given that the candidates have been discussing about local issues. However, it isn't surprising that they have not discussed about issues pertaining to the minority ethnic groups in details. Tan Jee Say promised that he'd speak up for the Malay rights, but he did not talk about what he was going to do to fulfill his promise. Like Tan Jee Say, Tan Cheng Bock promised that he'd promote multiculturalism without saying much on how he was going about doing it. As usual, this is the oversight that the "opposition" groups have not been aware of. This itself is good enough for me to cast a spoilt vote on the ballot paper, like what I did yesterday. What I did was to write a "No" on every box on the ballot paper. I almost wanted to write a statement above the bold line saying that "I would not validate elected presidency system as this would potentially undermine the essence of democracy".
Even if the non-Chinese candidates stood for the presidential election, I would still be hesitant to cast a vote if their perspectives are not dissimilar to the Qin-Chinese. Haha well as I'd expected, Tony Tan would be elected as the next president of Qin-gapore. I'm appalled by the "opposition" supporters who played the blame game on other "opposition" candidates who attempted to split the "opposition" votes among the 3 "opposition" candidates right after the announcement of the election results that Tony Tan won by a mere 0.34% margin. Many questioned why Tan Jee Say wanted to contest in the presidential election in a very silly manner, which they have speculated that Tan Cheng Bock would have won easily without Tan Jee Say's presence. Though this may be possible, have they thought that Tan Cheng Bock would not even have given the certificate of eligibility if Tan Jee Say had not contested?
I would see this as an attempt by the government to create the illusion of having the democracy among the mass to undermine real democracy, considering that there's a spillover effect from the very recent general election. Some even went further to call for an alternative voting system of the presidential election and to advocate tactical voting. Had Tan Cheng Bock won instead, I wonder whether those people would play the blame games and call for "more democratic" voting process. I'm afraid that not much critical introspection has been engaged by the mass. Had they done that, the marginalisation of the minority ethnic groups would have been eradicated and the elected presidency system might not have been implemented in the first place.
Even if the non-Chinese candidates stood for the presidential election, I would still be hesitant to cast a vote if their perspectives are not dissimilar to the Qin-Chinese. I would even go further to say that the elected presidency system is just a Legalist (ref. chinese Legalism) tool used by the incumbent government to reinforce the top-down exploitation by undermining the essence of democracy. Not even one elected president has been transparent in the important decisions that have been made. Not even Ong Teng Cheong, who was thought quite "confrontational" when it came to financial reserves. And I'm afraid none of them has created awareness of the marginalisation of the minority ethnic groups.
we should start eradicating the root of singapore's evils by discussing the racial issues and being much more empathetic to the minority groups and the foreigners so as to promote egalitarianism and to remove the corollary of said evils. Some people might argue that it's in the interest of the people to have an elected "oppositional" president if the incumbent party forms the government. However, since nothing has been said regarding the racial issues, what the president does will, at most times, appeal to the interest of the 'majority by race' in the Legalist-Confucian milieu. Moreover, since the people generally do not go by the force of reason, there might be a chance that the president, who might rely on "populist" thinking, aka appealing to the self-interest of the mass, might use the veto power to reject some financial policies proposed by the parliament which may be beneficial to the people.
So in essence, the elected presidency system is a corollary of the Legalist-Confucian system, which I would advocate abolishing unequivocally, which so far I've seen only an army friend of mine has supported, as well in the Facebook. He's also one of those who supported the Support Water Festival group initiated by you on Facebook. By the way, he's an ex-Malaysian Chinese who's more advanced in perspectives as compared to others. Before we even go into that, we should start eradicating the root of singapore's evils by discussing the racial issues and being much more empathetic to the minority groups and the foreigners so as to promote egalitarianism and to remove the corollary of said evils.