Everything you need to know about Singapore’s presidential scene

By Shantelle Sim

SINGAPORE, Sept 10 (Campus Eye) – Singapore plans to elect its second Malay president on September 23 since Yusof Ishak (term of office 1965 – 1970).

Five individuals have applied to run in the nation’s first election that is reserved for Malays. Two of them were automatically ruled out of the race after one declared himself as Chinese, and the other declared that he did not belong to any ethnic community.

The three remaining applicants –  former Speaker of Parliament Halimah Yacob, Farid Khan and Salleh Marican – are set to find out if they qualify to run on September 12. They would have to be approved by two separate panels and need to obtain the Certificate of Eligibility and Community Certificate in order to run.

The Community Committee is made up of a chairman and five members from the Chinese, Malay, Indian and other minority communities. Depending on the specified racial group the applicant has declared himself or herself in, the relevant sub-committee will determine whether or not he or she receives the Community Certificate.

The other panel is the Presidential Elections Committee(PEC), which ensures applicants have the qualifications and satisfy the criteria to run as presidential candidates, upon which they will receive the Certificate of Eligibility. To be eligible, the applicant must not have ties to any political party, and for private sector applicants like Khan and Marican, must hold the most senior executive position in their company and have $500 million in shareholder equity. However, it is up to the PEC’s discretion to decide if an applicant has experience and ability that is comparable, should he not satisfy the criteria.

Singapore’s presidential scene has seen numerous changes over her 52 years of independence. In the infographic below we take a closer look at the highlights and the changes that have led to the 2017 Presidential Elections.

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