As we all know, Halimah Yacob is now the unelected President of Singapore. Unelected because there was no contest (her other two would-be challengers were disqualified by the Presidential Election Committee (PEC) for not meeting certain requirements which, incidentally, Halimah Yacob also failed to meet).
She had a walkover “victory”, giving rise to accusations of a “rigged” election.
Some Singaporeans, however, are not taking this sitting down. Last Saturday, hundreds of them gathered at Hong Lim Park to hold a “silent protest” against how the entire election fiasco played out, with rules changed and questions left unanswered or ignored by the Government.
Questions such as: what was the advice given by the Attorney General to the Prime Minister in which the former apparently said it was right to count Wee Kim Wee as the nation’s first Elected President, and not from Ong Teng Cheong.
Questions such as: why did 2 PAP MPs suddenly file 2 separate Adjournment Motions in Parliament on the same day as Workers’ Party MP Sylvia Lim, who had wanted to speak on the Elected President issue? The other 2 MPs, who apparently filed their submission after Ms Lim had filed hers, chose to speak on rather inconsequential and insignificant topics.
Questions such as: why did the PEC disqualify the 2 male candidates from contesting the presidential election on the grounds that they did not fulfill the requirement of their respective companies having to have at least $500m in shareholders’ equity, when Halimah Yacob also does not meet this criteria?
Well, those questions will forever hang in the air until and unless the government officially provides an explanation.
Until then, Singaporeans can only whine and complain online, and hold protests which the government will ignore.
But a signal still must be sent.
And this has come in the form of an informal online poll, asking:
“For curiosity sake. [sic] Suppose there is no walkover for the Presidential Election. Who would u hv voted for?”
Almost 10,000 votes were cast, and so far the results are clear: Salleh Marican, the first Malay businessman to list his company on the Singapore Stock Exchange, has emerged the clear favourite with 43.54% of the votes, or 4232 votes out of 9,719 votes cast.
Farid Khan, who runs 18 firms under his marine service company, is second with 32.69%, or 3,177, of the votes.
Halimah Yacob is last – with just under a quarter of the votes cast for her – 23.77%, or 2,310 votes.
Does this matter? Not much. But it does allow Singaporeans to cast a venting vote of sort.
In the meantime, the newly unelected President herself has largely ignored any online criticisms. But that will only make some people more adamant that she is #NotMyPresident.