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Chitchat The laughing stock of the World - Our President

Discussion in 'The Courtyard Café' started by scroobal, Sep 13, 2017.

  1. scroobal

    scroobal Alfrescian Old Timer

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    Why Singaporeans aren't all glad to get the president they wanted
    By Tessa Wong
    BBC News, Singapore
    13 September 2017

    From the section Asia Share this with Facebook Share this with Twitter Share this with Messenger Share this with Email Share
    Former speaker of Singapore's parliament, Halimah Yacob, arrives at the Elections Department after she was given the certificate of eligibility to contest the election by the Presidential Elections Committee in Singapore 11 September 2017.Image copyrightREUTERS

    A popular public figure, Mrs Halimah was widely expected to win the presidential election, but instead will begin her term amid controversy.
    So why are Singaporeans not happy to get the president many wanted?
    'Selected, not elected'

    For starters, there hasn't been and won't be an election - she just got the job in a "walkover" because there were no other eligible candidates.
    Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, of the People's Action Party celebrates after winning the general election in Singapore on 12

    The PAP, led by Lee Hsien Loong (centre) has won every election in Singapore since independence in 1965
    Singaporeans are used to predictable elections, with the same party winning every parliamentary poll in the carefully managed country's 52-year history, last time with a landslide.

    It's partly due to loyalty to the ruling People's Action Party (PAP), but also because the government tightly controls the media and political freedoms.

    As the head of state, the president plays a largely ceremonial role and doesn't hold much power, apart from having some say in the use of Singapore's hefty financial reserves.

    Still, many were looking forward to exercising their vote this time round, and were angry to hear on Monday that Mrs Halimah was the only candidate.

    Why one party keeps winning Singapore's elections

    There were two other possible candidates in the running, businessmen Salleh Marican and Farid Khan.
    But a government-appointed committee decided they were not eligible as their companies didn't have at least $500m (£280m; $370m) in shareholders' equity, a rule that was recently tightened by the government.

    There are also many Singaporeans thrilled to see Mrs Halimah become president
    Mrs Halimah doesn't qualify under that rule either, but she made the cut because she used to be speaker in Singapore's parliament, and those who've held certain public office positions can qualify for the presidency.

    It has led some to joke online that the president has been "selected, not elected".

    Mrs Halimah, who is Muslim, is only the second president to come from the Malay ethnic minority.
    It's a move that should be celebrated by Singapore, which prides itself on its multiculturalism and diversity.
    But instead, this has fired up one of the biggest controversies of the presidency.

    That's because this election was only open to Malay candidates - the first time the government has reserved an election for a particular race.

    The government, which lauds its careful maintenance of national racial harmony, argued it was necessary to ensure minorities could have a chance at becoming president in Chinese-majority Singapore, which has always had an ethnically Chinese prime minister.
    But some Malays saw the move as positive discrimination that went against Singapore's golden rule of meritocracy, which is that the best person gets the job, regardless of background.

    It also stirred up questions about Malay racial purity, after people realised Mrs Halimah was half-Indian, and many have mocked her ethnicity.
    The irony is that Singapore's government has often clamped down on such discussion, fearing it would hurt racial harmony.
    Screenshot of comments on Singapore's 2017 presidential electionImage copyrightFACEBOOK
    "Racial questions are popping up... yet the G [government] cannot tamp this down because it had opened the can of worms in the first place," wrote political commentator Bertha Henson.

    "Now, the discussion is described as 'mature'' when, in other instances, it would have been slapped down as being inimical to social order."
    'How stupid they think we are'

    While some Singaporeans are delighted to see Mrs Halimah in office, others are unhappy at what they say is overt manipulation of the process by the government.

    Some believe the government deliberately took measures to block former presidential candidate Tan Cheng Bock, who came very close to defeating the government's man at the last election and who wanted to contest again.

    One popular joke online is a pun on Mr Tan's name, referencing the view that he was "blocked" from the election
    One view is that the government did not trust voters to choose their candidate this time round, despite the fact that it was Mrs Halimah, a former union leader who had broad appeal and was aided by extensive and favourable coverage in Singapore's state-friendly media.
    "Singaporeans have always known that our politicians... consider themselves superior beings," said writer Sudhir Thomas Vadaketh. "Now, with this reserved presidency, we have irrefutable proof about just how stupid they think we are."
    The government recently acknowledged the outrage by noting that the changes to the presidency might cost them "political capital", but argued it did what it had to do for "the future of the country".

    But some wonder if it has cost the country more. "The risk of we, the people, denying Halimah her mandate was probably too great for the PAP," wrote poet Alfian Sa'at.

    "And thus they would much rather deny us the right to confer her with a mandate... no matter how much cynicism and loss of trust it breeds towards our political systems."

    Singaporean artist Sonny Liew drew this comic referencing the belief among some that the election was rigged
    Singaporeans now have mixed feelings about their new president.

    Some, like the commentator Ms Henson, feel she is the "only good thing" in the whole episode and argue she is still "a decent person with a good heart", but others have accused her of complicity.

    Mrs Halimah, meanwhile, has largely sidestepped questions about the controversy.
    She told reporters earlier this week: "I promise to do the best that I can to serve the people of Singapore, and that doesn't change whether there is an election or no election."
     
  2. scroobal

    scroobal Alfrescian Old Timer

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    https://asia.nikkei.com/Politics-Ec...ed-by-reserved-presidential-electionSeptember 12, 2017 11:21 pm JST

    Singaporeans miffed by 'reserved' presidential election
    Social media bristles with discontent as Yacob prepares to enter office unopposed

    JUSTINA LEE, Nikkei staff writer

    Halimah Yacob was the only candidate given a certificate of eligibility on Sept. 11 by the Elections Department of Singapore. © Reuters
    SINGAPORE -- Singaporeans have taken to social media to express dissatisfaction that only Halimah Yacob has been approved to run for president later this month, thereby making a ballot unnecessary.

    Singapore's election department announced on Monday that Yacob, a former speaker of parliament, was the sole eligible candidate. This followed a significant amendment to the constitution earlier this year that reserves the office for a particular ethnic group if it has not been represented in the position for five consecutive terms.


    Twitter is being used to vent political frustration in Singapore.
    Singapore has a dominant ethnic Chinese population with Malay, Indian, and Eurasian minorities. Yacob is a Malay, and will be the first woman to occupy the largely ceremonial position. Her duties will include promoting good bilateral ties and safeguarding the national coffers.

    Ensuring equal opportunities and proper representation for all ethnicities have been keystones in establishing Singaporean national identity. The realization that voter participation would not be required sparked a Twitter storm that included the hashtag #notmypresident. Some said fundamental national principles had been trampled.

    "In a country whose core values are meritocracy, regardless of race, language or religion, this stinks of hypocrisy," Darren Teo tweeted.

    "It would have been a significant event for [Singapore] to elect her first female president, but now the word 'elected' has lost its meaning," tweeted Huiwen Zheng.

    Activist Gilbert Goh called for a silent sit-in protest this Saturday against voterless election. "It's time to unleash that frustration by showing up with like-minded Singaporeans together as one voice," he posted on Facebook.


    Activist Gilbert Goh used Facebook to call for a protest against Singapore's uncontested presidential election.
    Observers said the critical undertow was evidence of greater political awareness and sensitivity to race relations. Gillian Koh, deputy director of research at the Institute of Policy Studies said the reactions revealed a "division of opinion on how best Singapore's defining ideals of multiracialism, meritocracy, and prudent, honest governance should be balanced."

    "Those who are unhappy would have preferred the president receive an electoral mandate," she said.

    "Given that this is Singapore's first reserved election, it is a test of citizens' receptivity towards institutionalized means of ensuring minority representation," said Woo Jun Jie, an associate professor at Nanyang Technological University.
     
  3. scroobal

    scroobal Alfrescian Old Timer

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    http://www.gulf-times.com/story/563539/Singapore-s-walkover-presidential-election-draws-p

    Singapore's 'walkover' presidential election draws public criticism September 12 2017 01:00 PM
    s that resulted in Singapore likely naming its first female president, Halimah Yacob, drew an outpouring of criticism on Tuesday.

    Yacob, 63, was the only candidate among three hopefuls to be declared eligible by the Elections Department on Monday, paving the way for a so-called ‘walkover’ election in which a candidate faces no opposition.

    Yacob automatically qualified on account of having held a key public position as speaker of parliament for three years.

    The other two contenders, Salleh Marican and Farid Khan, were both denied eligibility, having fallen short of a constitutional rule that required them to have led a company with shareholder equity of at least 500 million Singapore dollars (372 million US dollars).

    Some observers expressed support for the historic moment but others were disappointed that there would be no contest in an election reserved exclusively for candidates from the minority Malay community - the first of its kind in the city-state.

    On Tuesday, the hashtag #notmypresident was trending on Twitter in Singapore, with social media users expressing their ire at what they saw as the lack of a democratic process.

    ‘Democracy officially revealed to be dead in #Singapore,’ user John Tan wrote.

    ‘How did 'Elected Presidency' become 'Selected Presidency?'‘ another Twitter user wondered.

    Still others asked why the bar for presidential qualifications was not lowered in order to field more candidates.

    The election, which had been scheduled for September 23, will no longer be held and Yacob is expected to be formally declared the winner on Wednesday.
     
  4. scroobal

    scroobal Alfrescian Old Timer

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    Singapore presidency with an asterisk and a government that was blindsided


    P N Balji
    Contributor
    Yahoo News Singapore13 September 2017

    Halimah Yacob’s presidency has been tainted. The eighth President of Singapore will continue to be haunted by an electoral process that pushed her into a whirlpool of vitriol as her status as a Malay was questioned and her financial nous put under the microscope.

    The 63-year-old made a strategic error in choosing to contest the presidential election as the government’s unofficial candidate. Today she stands accused of all kinds of cruel charges that are not worth mentioning here. Now we have an Elected President with an asterisk. Pity Halimah.

    I met her thrice. Each time, she impressed with her genteel nature and her desire to do good to workers and the disadvantaged. One of these occasions was when I took a group of Asian journalists to meet her. They were in Singapore as part of a three-month fellowship programme. They came out impressed with the way she spoke to her constituents who had gone to see her as part of her meet-the-people session.

    If she had fought an open election, she could have won it without much difficulty. If Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong had not manoeuvred too hastily to change the rules of the game and if he had understood his populace better and managed the process smartly, we would be celebrating Singapore’s first woman President and a tudung-wearing one at that. Pity Singapore.

    The run-up to the election has inflicted a serious wound, especially on Malays, which will take a long time to heal. There are enough Malays who feel that they have been turned into political pawns in the People Action Party’s game to stop presidential hopeful Tan Cheng Bock from contesting.

    Many Malays have questioned the very basis of this election. In the first place, they didn’t feel the need to have a Malay President and even if they felt the need they would have preferred one who contested on equal terms, not on a preferential basis. By putting such a high bar — experience of managing a company with $500 million shareholder equity in the last three years for private-sector candidates — the government must have known that getting qualified Malays to contest would have been an impossible task.

    Even if there were individuals who would have qualified, not many would have wanted to fight the government’s unofficial candidate. PM Lee said confidently when he was asked if there were Malays who would qualify, “There are qualified Malays, there are qualified Singaporeans.” Today those words are being ridiculed.

    Worse, there was so much scrutiny on the Malayness of the three contestants that forced many Malays to ask themselves whether there was a true-blue Malay among themselves.

    This debate is something PM and his team had never expected and it shows how the government had been totally blindsided by an electorate that would chuck the official narrative aside and let their counter narrative prevail. The implications are huge as the government’s control of its message will be muddied and muddled by a population that will use social media to press their points of view.

    If there is one political lesson to be learnt by the government from this badly-thought-out exercise it is this: Don’t take Singaporeans for granted.

    Writer’s note: This is my first commentary on the Elected Presidency. I and two others were in the media team helping presidential hopeful Salleh Marican and felt conflicted about it. Now that our engagement with Salleh is over, I am free to write. I have not used any information from my work for him in this article.

    P N Balji is a veteran Singaporean journalist who was formerly chief editor of Today, as well as an editor at The New Paper. He is currently a media consultant. The views expressed are his own.
     
  5. scroobal

    scroobal Alfrescian Old Timer

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    https://www.nst.com.my/world/2017/09/279435/anger-singapore-gets-first-female-president-without-vote

    Anger as Singapore gets first female president without a vote

    Singapore's new president-elect Halimah Yacob (R) greets her supporters at the nomination centre in Singapore on September 13, 2017. An establishment stalwart was named Singapore's first female president on September 13 but the milestone was overshadowed by criticism her selection was undemocratic after she was handed the job without a vote. AFP Photo
    By AFP - September 13, 2017 @ 10:40pm

    SINGAPORE: Singapore got its first female president Wednesday, but the milestone was overshadowed by criticism that her selection was undemocratic after she was handed the job without a vote.

    Halimah Yacob, a former speaker of parliament from the Muslim Malay minority, did not have to face an election for the largely ceremonial post after authorities decided her rivals did not meet eligibility criteria.

    It was not the first time in the affluent city-state – which is tightly controlled and has been ruled by the same party for decades – that the government has disqualified presidential candidates, making an election unnecessary.

    But there was already unease about the process as it was the first time that the presidency had been reserved for a particular race, in this case the Malay community. The decision to hand her the job without an election added to the anger.

    Social media was abuzz with criticism as Halimah, a bespectacled 63-year-old who wears a headscarf, was formally announced as president-elect, with Facebook user Pat Eng writing: “Elected without an election. What a joke.”

    “I will call her President Select from now on,” said Joel Kong on the networking site, while some posts were marked with the hashtag #NotMyPresident – echoing the message used by upset Americans after the election of President Donald Trump.

    Halimah was a member of parliament for the ruling People’s Action Party for nearly two decades before resigning to contest the presidency. She addressed the concerns about the selection process after being named president-elect.

    “I’m a president for everyone. Although there’s no election, my commitment to serve you remains the same,” she said.

    Halimah added she would “start working immediately” to bring the country together.

    She also insisted her status as Singapore’s first female president was “not just tokenism“, in a speech to a cheering crowd while wearing orange, a colour supposed to symbolise unity.

    “Every woman can aspire to the highest office in the land when you have the courage, determination and will to work hard,” she said.

    Singapore’s head of state has limited powers, including vetoing senior official appointments. But an establishment figure has always held the role and there are rarely tensions with the government.

    Authorities decided to allow only candidates from the Malay community to put themselves forward for the presidency to foster harmony in the city-state of 5.5 million people which is dominated by ethnic Chinese, and give more opportunities to minorities.

    Halimah is the first Malay president of Singapore for almost five decades. The last was Yusof Ishak, president from 1965 to 1970, the first years of the city-state’s independence.

    But the decision to limit candidates to one race had caused concern, including among Malays, as it was seen as positive discrimination that ran counter to the city-state’s traditional meritocratic principles.

    Five people had originally put their names forward for the presidency and the government had scheduled an election for September 23.

    Two were quickly eliminated as they were not Malay. The two others, Malay businessmen, were disqualified on Monday as their companies were smaller than required by strict new eligibility rules introduced last year.

    Halimah automatically qualified as she has held public office. She will be inaugurated in a ceremony on Thursday. --AFP
     
  6. scroobal

    scroobal Alfrescian Old Timer

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    http://www.news24.com/World/News/singapore-gets-first-female-president-without-a-vote-20170913

    Singapore gets first female president without a vote
    2017-09-13 13:13

    Singapore - An establishment stalwart was named Singapore's first female president on Wednesday but the milestone was overshadowed by criticism her selection was undemocratic after she was handed the job without a vote.

    Halimah Yacob, a former speaker of Parliament from the Muslim Malay minority, did not have to face an election for the largely ceremonial post originally due this month after authorities decided her rivals did not meet strict eligibility criteria.

    It was not the first time in the affluent city-state - which is tightly controlled and has been ruled by the same party for decades - that the government has disqualified candidates for the presidency, making an election unnecessary.

    But there was already unease about the process as it was the first time that the presidency had been reserved for a particular ethnic group, in this case the Malay community, and the decision to hand her the job without a vote added to anger.

    Social media was abuzz with criticism as Halimah, a bespectacled 63-year-old who wears a headscarf, was formally announced as the president-elect, with Facebook user Pat Eng writing: "Elected without an election. What a joke."

    "I will call her President Select from now on," said Joel Kong on the networking site, while some posts were marked with the hashtag NotMyPresident - echoing the message used by upset Americans after the election of President Donald Trump.

    Halimah, a member of Parliament for the ruling People's Action Party for nearly two decades before resigning to contest the presidency, tackled the doubts about the selection process in a speech to a cheering crowd after she was named president-elect.

    "I'm a president for everyone. Although there's no election, my commitment to serve you remains the same," she said.

    Authorities had decided to allow only candidates from the Malay community to put themselves forward for the presidency, a bid to foster harmony in the city-state of 5.5 million people which is dominated by ethnic Chinese.

    Singapore's head of state has limited powers, including vetoing senior official appointments, but an establishment figure has always held the role and there are rarely tensions with the government.
     
  7. gatehousethetinkertailor

    gatehousethetinkertailor Alfrescian Old Timer

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    If even the GCC press is citing how laughable this has been we have truly hit rock bottom (not that there was any doubt previously).
     
  8. scroobal

    scroobal Alfrescian Old Timer

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    https://www.standard.co.uk/news/wor...nt-but-some-people-aren-t-happy-a3633611.html

    News › World
    Singapore names its first ever female president… but some people aren’t happy
    SEAN MORRISON
    5 hours ago



    The Evening Standard
    Halimah Yacob: Singapore has named its first female president, and it has caused controversy

    Singapore has named its first ever female president, Halimah Yacob.

    But the former speaker of parliament will begin her term amid controversy, despite being a popular public figure.

    Some Singaporeans are outraged after it was revealed Mrs Halimah was the only candidate in the leadership race.

    There were initially two other possible candidates in the running, Salleh Marican and Farid Khan.

    But a government-appointed committee decided neither were eligible, making use of a recently tightened minimum equity rule on presidential candidates in Singapore.

    Under the rule, companies owned by candidates must hold a minimum of £280m in shareholder’s equity for them to qualify for presidency.

    Neither Marican nor Khan qualified under the rule, and so they were both ruled out.

    Halimah Yacob is surrounded by supporters in Singapore after being named Singapore's eighth president (AP)
    Mrs Halimah does not qualify for presidency under those rules either.


    But she was selected as she was previously a speaker in Singapore’s parliament, and those who have held selected public office positions do qualify.

    After the country decreed the presidency, some joked on that she had been “selected, not elected”, with others saying it is proof the government think voters are “stupid”.

    Supporters of Halimah Yacob cheer at the People's Association centre on Nomination Day in Singapore (EPA)
    Others vented their outrage on Twitter, using the hashtage #NotMyPresident, which was used after Donald Trump won the US election.

    Mrs Halimah, a Muslim, is only the second president to come from the Malay ethic minority.

    Further controversy was caused when it was revealed this election was open only to Malay candidates – a move that has been described as positive discrimination.


    The government, which lauds its careful maintenance of national racial harmony, argued it was necessary to ensure minorities could have a chance at becoming president in Chinese-majority Singapore.

    It has always in the past had an ethnically Chinese prime minister.

    While some were delighted to see Mrs Halimah in office, others told how they were unhappy at what they say is overt manipulation of the government’s process.

    Writer Sudhir Thomas Vadaketh wrote in a blog: "Singaporeans have always known that our politicians... consider themselves superior beings."

    He added: "Now, with this reserved presidency, we have irrefutable proof about just how stupid they think we are."
     
  9. scroobal

    scroobal Alfrescian Old Timer

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    https://sg.news.yahoo.com/overwhelm...residential-eligibility-report-070536453.html

    Overwhelmingly negative sentiment after decision on Halimah Yacob's presidential eligibility: report

    Hannah TeohYahoo News Singapore13 September 2017

    Online sentiment on Singapore’s 2017 presidential election took a sharply negative turn after former speaker of parliament Halimah Yacob was declared the sole eligible candidate on Monday (11 September), according to a report by Marketing Interactive.

    Prior to this week, sentiment was divided over the presidential election, said the magazine on Tuesday (12 September), citing data from global media monitoring house Meltwater. This year’s election is reserved for Malay candidates.

    After Halimah was confirmed as the only candidate to have been issued the Certificate of Eligibility by the Presidential Elections Committee (PEC) on Monday, negative sentiment surged to -83 per cent on 11-12 September from -49 per cent in previous days while positive sentiment plunged to 17 per cent from 51 per cent over the same period, according to Meltwater’s data.

    In addition, there was an “extensive increase in social media chatter” surrounding the walkover outcome, Meltwater’s data showed.

    On Monday, minutes after the announcement of Halimah’s eligibility, a number of Singaporeans began using the hashtag #notmypresident in their social media posts.

    Two other presidential hopefuls, Second Chance Properties chief executive Salleh Marican and Bourbon Offshore Asia Pacific chairman Farid Khan, were deemed not eligible to run for the presidency by the PEC. Both did not meet the requirement for private sector applicants to have been either the chairman or CEO of a company with a paid-up capital of at least $500 million on average over the most immediate three financial years.

    Halimah was declared Singapore’s next president on Nomination Day on Wednesday (13 September), and will be sworn in at the Istana on Thursday evening.
     
  10. gatehousethetinkertailor

    gatehousethetinkertailor Alfrescian Old Timer

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  11. scroobal

    scroobal Alfrescian Old Timer

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    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/sep/13/singapore-first-female-president-elected-without-vote

    Anger in Singapore as first female president is elected without a vote
    Halimah Yacob did not have to face an election after authorities decided her rivals did not meet strict eligibility criteria

    Agence France-Presse
    Wednesday 13 September 2017 07.04 BST
    An establishment stalwart has been named Singapore’s first female president but the milestone was overshadowed by criticism that her selection was undemocratic after she was handed the job without a vote.

    Halimah Yacob, a former speaker of parliament from the Muslim Malay minority, did not have to face an election for the largely ceremonial post after authorities decided her rivals did not meet strict eligibility criteria.

    It was not the first time in the affluent city-state – which is tightly controlled and has been ruled by the same party for decades – that the government has disqualified candidates for the presidency, making an election unnecessary.



    But there had already been criticism of the process as it was the first time the presidency had been reserved for a particular ethnic group – in this case the Malay community – and the decision to hand her the job without a vote added to anger.

    Social media was abuzz with criticism as Halimah, 63, was formally announced as the president-elect, with Facebook user Pat Eng writing: “Elected without an election. What a joke.”

    “I will call her President Select from now on,” said Joel Kong on the networking site, while some posts were marked with the hashtag #NotMyPresident – echoing the message used by upset Americans after the election of Donald Trump.

    Halimah, a member of parliament for the ruling People’s Action Party for nearly two decades before resigning to contest the presidency, tackled the doubts about the selection process in a speech to a cheering crowd after she was named president-elect.

    “I’m a president for everyone. Although there’s no election, my commitment to serve you remains the same,” she said.

    Authorities had decided to allow only candidates from the Malay community to put themselves forward for the presidency, a bid to foster harmony in the city-state of 5.5 million people, which is dominated by ethnic Chinese.

    Singapore’s head of state has limited powers, including vetoing senior official appointments, but an establishment figure has always held the role and there are rarely tensions with the government.
     
  12. creampie

    creampie Alfrescian Old Timer

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    Do good, Do together!

    123 321 PAP is Numba 1!

    HUAT AH!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  13. scroobal

    scroobal Alfrescian Old Timer

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    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/w...election-rigging-only-candidate-a7944231.html

    Singapore declares first woman president amid complaints of election rigging
    Significant milestone overshadowed by accusations that strict eligibility criteria are undemocratic

    Harriet Agerholm @HarrietAgerholm Wednesday 13 September 2017 12:41 BST0 comments

    Singapore's President-elect Halimah Yacob leaves the nomination centre in Singapore REUTERS/Edgar Su
    Singapore has announced its first female president, who is also the first head of state to come from the county's Malay community in almost five decades.

    Yet celebrations of the significant milestone were mired by accusations that the selection process was undemocratic.

    Halimah Yacob, a former speaker of parliament, did not face a vote for the largely ceremonial post after authorities said other candidates did not meet strict eligibility criteria.


    The multicultural city-state decreed the presidency be reserved for someone from the minority Malay community, sparking accusations about a rigged process.

    The decision to give the role to the 63-year-old without a vote added to public anger.

    Addressing the Malay-only rule during a speech at the elections department office, Ms Halimah said: “Although this is a reserved election, I‘m not a reserved president. I'm a president for everyone.”

    The criteria for the presidency also stipulated that candidates must have held a senior role in public office for at least three years. Ms Halimah's role as house speaker meant she automatically qualified.

    Of the four other candidates, two were not Malays and two were not deemed eligible, according to the elections department.


    Critics voiced anger at the Singapore's government, which has been run by the People's Action Party for 52 years.

    “What would have otherwise been a democratic milestone is now besmirched with the ugly stain of an uncontested election," law student Rio How wrote in a column on the website Consensus SG.

    "Such is the cost of a government that thinks in terms of politics of power, as opposed to dignity."

    The separation of Singapore from Malaysia in 1965 gave ethnic Malays a clear majority in Malaysia, while ethnic Chinese formed the majority in independent Singapore.
     
  14. gatehousethetinkertailor

    gatehousethetinkertailor Alfrescian Old Timer

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    [​IMG]
     
  15. gatehousethetinkertailor

    gatehousethetinkertailor Alfrescian Old Timer

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    [​IMG]

    Could it be that her five kids have Arab as their race as the Alhabshees are an old Arab Yemeni family and very proud of their heritage. And they would not have qualified for Mendaki grants as Arabs (an issue that was brought up during the is she isnt she debate).

    And Muslim do follow a partrilineal descent scheme.

    How's that for irony?

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    Last edited: Sep 14, 2017
  16. Agoraphobic

    Agoraphobic Alfrescian Old Timer

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    I reality, nobody outside Singapore gives a hoot about how Singaporeans feel. As far as the rest of the world is concerned, Singapore is a well governed place where everything works, crime is low, the state is efficient, people enjoy a high standard of living. Things like COE, PSLE, CBD, HDB is Greek to non-Greeks, and Punjabi to Greeks. Nobody cares. Singapore is a democratic country which observes and is compliant with UN laws and Human Rights. It is paradise.

    Cheers!
     
  17. JHolmesJr

    JHolmesJr Alfrescian Old Timer

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    The BBC is pretty scared of the government here….you should have seen stephen sackur doing hardtalk with the little emperor.
    He practised anything but hard talk.

    what does the headline here even mean….how does anyone know this is the president we wanted?

     
  18. JHolmesJr

    JHolmesJr Alfrescian Old Timer

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    Habshee is arabic for nigger
     
  19. Bonut

    Bonut Alfrescian Old Timer

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    Similanjiao journalism ? Write so long essay never reveal the career path of the First Dude ? WTF was he doing besides being a Physics major and good singer?
     
  20. shiokalingam

    shiokalingam Alfrescian Old Timer

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    Good question. This , you have to ask ...:D
     

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