Friday, June 10, 2011

Legal and Moral Role of the President...

Yesterday, Jayakumar said he is both 'surprised and disappointed' by statements made by presidential hopefuls:

 "That is the clear legal position. So I think it is good that all Singaporeans, especially candidates, are very clear about what exactly the role of the President is. I say that because I do worry that otherwise there may be wrong expectations about the role of the President and we should avoid that."
- Jayakumar.

President Nathan said a few days ago when he answered to criticisms that he did not do much::

"There are voices saying that, but I can't answer them. I know the limitations of the Constitution and what you have to do. So I'm not there in a boxing match. Although I've been quiet, I've been doing work"[Link]

Lets be very clear. When the constitution was changed to have elected presidents, the laws were designed to limit the powers of the president to specific areas and roles. President Nathan kept strictly to that role and Jakakumar wants future presidents to play a limited role.

However, lets not forget that the president is the only leader in the country that is voted by all citizens eligible to vote. No other leader is elected in the same fashion in Singapore. When the candidates campaign, they will have to state their agenda and what they will do. Voters select the candidates based on their agenda. The president when selected will have a powerful mandate and moral authority. While it is true that the President cannot legally force the PAP govt to accept his recommendations e.g.  greater transparency for our reserves,  his recommendations will carry great weight and moral authority because he represents the people of Singapore who supported his agenda.

I will not support a presidential candidate who believes he cannot do much for the people of Singapore and campaign on an agenda that he will sitick narrowly to the legal role carved out for him in the law. This is a chance for Singaporeans to choose someone who can make a difference to our lives and bring more transparency to management of our reserves - Singaporeans have been asking for this for years and want a president who will do as much as he can to make this happen.
------------
Statements by some hopefuls 'surprised and disappointed' Jayakumar


by S Ramesh

04:47 AM Jun 10, 2011

SINGAPORE - The statements made by some of the presidential candidate hopefuls on what they would do if elected "surprised and disappointed" him, said former Senior Minister S Jayakumar yesterday.



Speaking at the launch of his book, Prof Jayakumar, who was involved in the crafting of the Elected President laws when he was Law Minister in the '80s, did not name the individuals he was referring to.



"Some of their statements seem to imply that the President is a centre of power and to himself distinct from the government of the day and implies he has certain executive powers. That is not the case," he said.



Earlier, potential candidate Tan Kin Lian had said if elected, he would aim for a more conservative approach in investing Singapore's assets, and suggested publishing an annual report on Singapore's reserves.



Dr Tan Cheng Bock, also a potential contender, said that if elected, he would scrutinise the appointment of top leaders, and work with the government of the day to protect Singapore's reserves.



Yesterday, Prof Jayakumar said the President does have some discretionary custodial powers, mainly in the protection of reserves and key appointments, and some custodial powers in ISA detentions, CPIB investigations and Maintenance of Religious Harmony Act restraining orders.



But even in those few areas, the President has no power to initiate decisions or policy. He only has blocking powers. In all other areas, the President under the Constitution must act on the advice of the Cabinet.



Said Prof Jayakumar: "That is the clear legal position. So I think it is good that all Singaporeans, especially candidates, are very clear about what exactly the role of the President is. I say that because I do worry that otherwise there may be wrong expectations about the role of the President and we should avoid that." S RAMESH


http://www.todayonline.com/Singapore/EDC110610-0000070/Statements-by-some-hopefuls-surprised-and-disappointed-Jayakumar

62 comments:

Anonymous said...

The coming Elected President of Singapore is expected to be chosen through the competitive electoral process which has attracted unprecedented interest. It is up to successful candidate to re-define the scope of the president's job as specified in the constitution. The Ong Teng Cheong's vs the SR Nathan's presidency show glaring contrast on how the EP can broadly or narrowly engage the Government in power. Nothing is static and the EP institution has to evolve with the aspirations and political dynamics of the times.

Anonymous said...

Don't hold your breath on a contest.

Maybe only Nathan will be deemed to have met the selection criteria.

We need more than 40% in 2016.

2011 - Star Wars - A New Hope

2016 - Star Wars - The Empire Strikes Back

Br prepared.

Anonymous said...

It all depends on the number of Certificates of eligibility (COE) issued by the Presidential Election Committee.(PEC)

If in the end, only one COE is issued, then no contest and also no need to vote lah.

I have a gut feeling this may be the outcome.

So don't count your chickens before they are hatched.

Citizens are not conscripted in a first world country said...

In short, the President is a puppet and must continue to remain so, according to Jayakumar.

He is but a ceremonial idiot. Why then do we pay the President $304 000 per month? Pray explain, you daft Singaporeans. I'm ashame to be a Singaporean these days under such an arrogant government? 40% of Singaporeans have spoken. There is growing realisation on the ground that the government has been and still is adamant at short-changing us.

WE ARE NOT A FIRST WORLD COUNTRY! WE SHOULD NOT CALL OURSELVES FIRST WORLD WHEN WE DON'T HAVE FIRST WORLD STANDARD OF LIVING! NO MINIMUM WAGE, NO UNIVERSAL HEALTHCARE! AND MAH BOW TAN HIDES THE COST OF A BUILDING A UNIT PIGEON HOLE IN THE AIR AND OVERCGARGES US OUR LIVING AND THEN AFTER HE GOTTEN HIS PENSION ON OUR INCOME TAX, HE'S SCOTT FREE! WHERE IS THE ACCOUNTABILITY IN THIS COUNTRY? PRAY TELL!

MORE AND MORE REPORTERS ARE SEEKING TO EXPOSE THIS GOVERNMENT DIRTY PROPAGANDA AND OF COURSE LIES!

PAP HAS BEEN SHORT-CHANGING OUR FELLOW SINGAPOREANS FOR MORE THAN A DECADE NOW.

WE PAY THEM MILLIONS IN SALARIES AND THEY TELL US WE CAN'T TAKE OUT OUR CPF. WE GRANT THEM MILLION DOLLAR LIFESTYLES AND WHEN MAH BOW TAN SCREWED UP THE HDB POLICIES FOR YOUNG SINGAPOREANS, WE ALLOW OUR INCOME TAX TO PAY FOR HIS PENSION.

LISTEN HERE YOU APATHETIC SINGAPOREAN DAFTIES, WAKE UP, BEFORE THEY RAPE YOU FURTHER. THIS GOVERNMENT IS ALL ABOUT MONEY. IT'S NOT ABOUT MORALITY (LOOK AT CASINO GAMBLING DENS); IT HAS RUN OUT OF IDEAS BECAUSE OF IT IS DEEPLY SEATED IN GROUP THINKING.

THE EMPEROR IS NAKED AND NOW 40% CAN SEE IT. THE OTHER 60% ARE EITHER IGNORANT, IN SLEEP, OVERLY INDOCTRINATED, PYCHOLOGICALLY CRIPPLE FROM YEARS OF LKY'S BRAND OF FEAR MONGERING, PLAYING UP CHINESE VERSUS MALAYS RACIAL SENTIMENTS, AN IGNORANT CIVIL SERVANT WHO STILL DOES NOT KNOW THEIR RIGHTS AND LIVES IN PATHETIC FEAR OF THE UNKNOWN, POLITICALLY APATHETIC, A MALAY WHO LOVES TO GET SUBSIDIES IN EDUCATION, TUITION FEES AND THE LIKE, - not to mention, who enjoys being marginalised as it PAYS to be marginalised and politically poor for the community- HANDICAPPED, THE ELDERLY, AND THE REMNANTS OF A PAST GENERATION WHO HAS BENEFITTED FROM THE PAST AND OF COURSE THE LAST REMAINING PENSIONERS OF THE GOVERNMENT SERVICE.

Wake up, Singaporeans! It's a matter of time before they craft out another means to impose a new taxes.

Anonymous said...

BELOW IS FOR The Online Citizen

Moderator. Why, again, did you censor such an honest opinion from a member of the public?

We all need to honestly reflect on ourselves...in the mirror - a very good advice to all, not only CHIAM.

When you look into the mirror and discovered how deformed your speech and thoughts have become, the heavens are telling you..and you better listen... Please,for heaven sake have some shame... it is time for you to relinquish power. If you don't, people will MOCK YOU and you...moderators..who tried to play gods...will not be able to stop people from having such thoughts.

Tsk Tsk Tsk..no wonder Andrew gave up on you guys.

If you can't be honest and TRANSPARENT...please don't advocate that our govt be transparent and honest with the public too

POLITICIANS WITH ITCHING EARS ARE NO WORSE THAN A DISHONEST PIMP

At least a pimp acknowledges he is a pimp when he looks in the mirror but can't say that of CHIAM vying for the next Singapore Presidency

Anonymous said...

TOC is run by dogs who lick opposition butts. If Andrew don't get bald writing for TOC, the bald guy will ensure he gets bald one way or the other. LOL

Anonymous said...

no wonder he quits...haaaaaa

Anonymous said...

Yah, or his balls will have no hair LOL

Anonymous said...

Even Lunatic also expressed interest in the highest office in the land.

This EP is beginning to look more like auditioning for the next American Idol. HAHAHA

Anonymous said...

The president has got no key; he has got no say and he has got no responsibility! We pay him $11+K per day everyday for doing nothing!

Anonymous said...

"In short, the President is a puppet and must continue to remain so, according to Jayakumar."

even a lowly edukated person like me undercanstand. why sooo many oxfart edukated people cannot leh?

all these stoopig supporters and people wanton to be presidents must brain be very rot after passing out oxfart universities MUAHAHAHA

heng me lowly edukated MUAHAHAHA

Anonymous said...

Since they want to make a "fuss" out of it, we the voters should make a "farce" out of it. Let us petition a boycott of this election and spoil all votes. That will send a strong enough signal that we refuse to be made to vote in a powerless figure head and spend 4 million a year to that end.I know I will because I see no sense in giving my vote to nothingness.

Anonymous said...

Seriously, SIN politics is becoming a bloody joke.

SIN politics is for SERIOUS PEOPLE.

That's why it is a joke LOL

Anonymous said...

some idiots still don't get it. You cant have two Penises screwing the people. ha.

Anonymous said...

I can agree with Lucky Tan. Presidential powers need to be changed and updated to suit to this era. Past laws should be looked into whether they are applicable to the present existing times. We have to take note that President represents the people and if it is necessary to renew and update the laws the cabinet and the government has to look into seriously to be relevant and pertinent to our present times. President must have to the powers because he is representing all the citizens.

Anonymous said...

It is timely that Jayakumar clarified the role of the President.
Daft Singaporeans actually think that the President is a powerful creature.
Hmm.. are they daft or blind loyalists?
Surely those vying for presidency are not that dumb?

It is a shot at being the next KING OF THE LAND - and enjoying all the privileges the role brings.
Who can resist living like a KING?

And the word here is...living, not ruling.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Yah, or his balls will have no hair LOL

10/6/11 14:27


The criteria to sit in the highest echelon of moderation is a shave pussy.

Anonymous said...

Basically he is a Dud.

Anonymous said...

ST headline states....President is NOT a separate political CENTER.

And so it shall be not.

Who then IS in the political CENTER?

Get that wrong, a life time of muddied thinking awaits you.

simple said...

Like it or not, the hard truth is that the presidential post is puppet in nature. It represents the face and signing hand of the government of the day just unlike the Queen of England. It is not a political platform and does not need to have an election platform. All a candidate has to do is to ensure that he meets the qualifications set out. Parliamnent and the electoral system are the rightful platforms to debate and effect changes including changes to the powers of the President. The elected president should not initiate or instigate public dissent. in other words, cause a civil war. If I were a person like Tan Kin Lian I will boycott the Presential election in its present form rather than to become what is essentially a PAP puppetperforming at its behest. Otherwise sooner or later he will be kicked out or belittled like those before the present highly-compliant president.

hayek said...

Re
/////
Like it or not, the hard truth is that the presidential post is puppet in nature. It represents the face and signing hand of the government of the day just unlike the Queen of England.
/////

Queen Elizabeth is a puppet with many of the nominated president for the reason that they got their job not from plebiscite.

The politician of UK can instigate to change to republic system if the monarch is not under their control.

An elected president, even though with his wings clipped by constitution is an entire different animal.

His power comes from the people. He can megaphone whatever he wants, and the PM will not able to sack him at will.

Because the PM do not give him his job, the people do. See the different.

Anonymous said...

Somebody has to talk nasty to these political opportunists. Kick their stupid ass, and some sense into their dumb heads, and bring them down to earth.

Anonymous said...

It is time to push the boundaries.. We should stop accepting any more puppet Presidents, who are paid in the millions.
We either have a President who can and dare push for more transparency or we don't have a president at all.

This decade must be the decade for our PAP members to let the cat out of the bag, time for us to see who they really are.

Anonymous said...

They call themselves servants of the people but they have the guts -- and see no wrong -- telling citizens to tighten their belts and sacrifice for GDP growth, and turn around rewarding themselves million$$$$ -- including such a dummy position -- with the growth!

Anonymous said...

The way lucky wrote, I think jayakumar message was intended for people like him with - low IQ.

Anonymous said...

Why pay so much,
for so little?

Anonymous said...

LOL

Anonymous said...

QE, is a puppet with style.

Anonymous said...

Jaya(kuda)ma is living in the past. Please tell him to shut the fxxk up and enjoy his pension. Otherwise, one of these days, Singaporeans shall take back all his pensions and perks with interest calculated based on the number of words he had spoken to shor-change Singaporeans. I am sure that day will come sooner or later. It is only a matter of time.

Anonymous said...

The fact that jayakumar came out hastily to "clarify"the role of EP shows that PAP is afraid of losing control of this office.

Singaporeans need to realize that we need a true People's President - like Ong Teng Cheong, who will question the government vigorously to safe guard our reserves. On this basis, Tony tan and casino George are out of the question!!!

Anonymous said...

Guess it is up to the people of Singapore to ask for changes to the constitution if they do not like it

Anonymous said...

If our destiny is decided by daft singaporeans, Singapore will sink even faster.

Confirm?

Double double confirm! Ha

Anonymous said...

IF that is the case, why not just appoint a President instead of wasting taxpayers money, public time, effort and transport cost to go to the polls. Personally, I feel like an idiot having to go to the polling station to vote in a powerless EP. What a farce? Sorry but that how I feel.

Anonymous said...

Anon above

Why r u so sure there will be a poll?

As someone has said, maybe in the end only one cert of eligibility (COE) is issued.

Anonymous said...

Hopefully that would be the case.

Don't waste time and resources with all the wayang.

Anonymous said...

"I will not support a presidential candidate who believes he cannot do much for the people of Singapore and campaign on an agenda that he will sitick narrowly to the legal role carved out for him in the law. This is a chance for Singaporeans to choose someone who can make a difference to our lives and bring more transparency to management of our reserves - Singaporeans have been asking for this for years and want a president who will do as much as he can to make this happen."

Daft thinkers.

Anonymous said...

Agree! I will not support a rubber stamp President either. If he is so ineffective, then why pay him so much? I fail to see the logic.

As for TOC. I think Ravi Philemon is doing a great job as the new chief editor. Kudos to the TOC them as well. As for Andrew Loh, what can one say? Under this watch, he made so many enemies with even the blogging community. Wonder no more why when he decided to throw in the towel, there was hardly a whimper in blogosphere. Maybe they were all so relieved.

Anonymous said...

Why do we need a president that goes jet setting and globe trotting doing international relations and does nothing for the local?
There is the Ministry Of Foreign Affairs to handle foreign relations, why do Singaporeans need a president to gallivant around the World to do international relations???
Btw, me don't think we ever need a president at all. I rather trust 87 men in the Cabinet than to rely on one powerless pseudo head of state.

patriot

Anonymous said...

Chiam gave up on the idea of being the next president. Maybe somebody kicked some sense into him but certainly not TOC.

Ravi got no balls.He even censors his sexual organ.lol

Anonymous said...

Well, you can't deny that constitutionally the role and scope of the EP is really quite limited. That being said, I think it's plain silly to pay this guy $4-million. Why not just appoint some guy at a nominal sum to kiss babies and officiate at ceremonies while opening the reserves will need the approval of all the High Court judges... I really don't want to pay that much for someone to sit there and do his work quietly. Where is the sense in that? Us working people got to meet KPIs and update reports and all that crap and this guy sits there doing his work quietly and draws that much? Something's fishy and it isn't the neighbourhood wet market.

Anonymous said...

the president power was so much crippled that he can't even do what the citizens wanted him to do, so dun waste time on this election, there is no true democracy here unlike our neighbour countries, where the president is so much respected by their citizens, whereas here you only see a million dollars president performing in charity show.

Anonymous said...

Why do we even need to vote when the COE is enough to strike out any potential candidates?? End of the day, it is more like PEC doing the voting, not us!

Anonymous said...

If president is symbolic, why waste taxpayer's money and time getting one that can't even talk, might as well put Raffles statue and call it a day. The criteria set so high even Obama also not eligible. Sinkapore is a laughingstock!!

Anonymous said...

Symbolic also must pay and live well what.

Just like the Kings, Queens or Emperors as known in other countries, they are also symbolic. But they have huge palaces and of course live like a King or Queen.

Anonymous said...

BUT this was a position artificailly created by PAP, who told us how important the position was and worth million$$$$; and now the same gang is telling us that it is completely useless!

Anonymous said...

Not completely useless lah. It depends on the situation.

If Presidential hopefuls want to have their own agenda and also say out publicly, then of course it is completely useless lah.

In fact I would think these hopefuls should not even be qualified to contest if they don't even know clearly what is the role of President.

Anonymous said...

Presidential hopefuls who have their own agenda for the good of the people should instead join a political party and try to win majority seats in the next elections and form the government.

Only then can their good agendas be realised.

But then majority voters must also agree that their agenda is good lah.

Anonymous said...

Some suggest that those EP Hopefuls who wish to do something good for the people should participate in the GE instead of EP. I am of the opinion that the moral authority that the EP gets can be extremely powerful in spite of constitutional constrains. Simply giving it to a PAP man would be a waste of opportunity and complete waste of taxpayers money!

Anonymous said...

General Election (GE) is the ultimate and most important election of any country, not just Singapore. What other elections is more important than GE?

If anybody or party aspires to do something big and good, they must aim to win the GE.

All other elections are secondary, or some just a formality, tio bo? (right or not?)

Anonymous said...

GE is important doesn't mean that EP is not important. The moral authority that the EP possess can be greater than that of PM. GE is 5 years away so let's don't keep saying forget about the EP because doing so would only fulfill the greed of PAP.

Anonymous said...

President is incorruptible because he has got no say, no power, no key, no balls, no nothing! If you pay him million$$$$ (like taxpayers do) and expect him to do something, you wait long long ok (12 years to be exact) and you would then be told to buy his book to find out if he did anything at all! Would you bribe a puppet like that? NO, I'm sure! So, Mr. Gerard Ee, you can safely reduce his pay to $1 and need not worry about him becoming corrupted like the ministers may!

Anonymous said...

Kendo JY is saying this to help the pap yes men running. So that they can contest to be elected for ceromony work agenda. IF GY opt out, that leave the incumbent. TKL has up ante by accepting 3ook sal, for someone used to $4m, the change quite drastic. To convince NT to stay, presidential ballcarriers likely to go on massive charities campaign in his name so he can keep his pay check w/o stress.

Anonymous said...

Someone tweeted this old link and I thought quite interesting. So is there any coming-out candidate for the EP who's willing to take up LKY's challenge? Like Low Thia Kiang has! And give them another hard kick.

My take - I think the PAP is stucked on this one.
If they field Nathan again, the voters will revolt and vote for a non-PAP. If they weed out TKL, and stage another walk over, the voters will not forget them in 2016. If they field in more candidates, there's also a good chance that any candidates they backed would backfire on them..thus all the names like Jaya, Tony, GY etc...is getting interesting now. How are they going to get out of this quagmire - of wanting every piece of chess to fall in the right place.

Anonymous said...

http://www.singapore-window.org/sw99/90812lky.htm

The link above.

Anonymous said...

just a question to the readers out there.
Does anyone know if Ngiam Tong Dow were to run, would he qualify ?

Anonymous said...

Re Ngiam Tong Dow:
I was a daft Singaporean and it took me a very long time to learn from PAP that money is everything. So I don't care if he is as "daftless" as me now or as shameless as TPL he will have my vote if he donates all his pay to charity! He may say "why should I donate my pay?" My answer is "why should I vote for you!"

Anonymous said...

Money is still everything. Their EQ or human consciousness have not evolved into higher being..Money-profit-hardware-Power-Stature-Prestige-Ego-Dignity-alll are interlinked. Sad but true. Every sentence or aims are sprouted in # - everything is a mean to an end. Very much in LKY's DNA and still is today in the party manifesto & legacy. Given we have handed in yet another majority to PAP, it would be another 5yrs before we can do anything. So it would be good to put in a President that has moral compass and the conscience to remind the Party now and then. Anyone who wants to sell me his/her impeccable "fudiciary" track record can forget it. There're too many number crunchers, smartie asses and robots who dont know how to feel anymore (with exception of few).

Nathan is so overly over, Tony should not taint his legacy and stay out, GYeo made the right move, and now we are still waiting for the PAP-backed candidate to emerge.

Annoyed said...

To anon 23:15. This President is not incorruptible.
It is during his presidency, that the pay has escalated to obscene levels. He did NOT pull the lever and stop any of this crap. Instead, he happily approved it and probably bargained for higher pay from the PM, and throw in few more butlers. That is what he meant by "unexpected resources" & his "hidden talents"..tsk tsk!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f01cldPv5a8

So let's pray that this President get out of our way soon and that we don't have to see him at the NDPt his year. Clean slate and good riddance. He can pay for his own state funeral for all we care!

Anonymous said...

To Anon 19:14
Well said! Totally agree with you!
"Incorruptible" should have been in quotes because it is the result of circumstances rather than integrity.

On second thought, allowing his subordinates to pay themselves millions with taxpayers money for his own benefit might be a more blatant form of CORRUPTION!

If you look at the audience carefully when this guy appeared at NDP, they were waving at him asking him to get lost!

Anonymous said...

kendo jy is in the news again, diversifying from istana to south china seas. Judging from what jaya-san define for us, a president job must be very boring indeed. But in the case of NT term, the pay has increased by leap and bounds plus monotony of the office now come peppered with perks such as occasional overseas as our mini ambassador, snatching some spotlight from the foreign minister. I don’t want to disappoint but the retired PAP stalwarts now finding interest in the post may find out the good times for NT is a special one off affair, showered on their favoured PAP-president

The Pariah said...

What about the former Attorney General WALTER WOON for the Presidency?

Walter Woon is least tainted by "whiteness".

As the 3rd key (the 1st and 2nd keys being the Executive Cabinet and the MPs in Parliament), I would have thought that the "independence" would be the first and foremost pre-qualifier for the Presidency.

Otherwise, any affiliation with the ruling party (or endorsement by any organizations or groupings with such affiliation) would amount to an INHERENT SYSTEMIC RISK to Singapore and Singaporeans, surely?

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