The Six respond to Mr K Shanmugam remarks (and why I'd NEVER vote for Mr Ooi Boon Ewe)

It's official: I will definitely not going to vote for Mr Ooi Boon Ewe!! And not because of these 3 posts: "Undependable independent candidates???", "Oi, Ooi Boon Ewe ... now a President wannabe?!", or "Presidential hopeful Ooi Boon Ewe makes 3rd attempt".

The latest article has he quoted to say 'Laws are made for man, not man for the law'. Sounds good, huh? Indeed. Just a pity it's not the original quote. It's said by one Great Man and His Words were "The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath."

Mr Ooi must have thought that it's smart to just replace the word 'Sabbath' to 'law', huh? And what the hell, he did not even stated his source of inspiration?!

Shame on you, Mr Ooi!!

Anyway. Inhale. Exhale. Breathe deeply and Enough being annoyed...

...let's go back to the topic.

To respond to the response of the Six presidential hopeful to the candid (?) remarks of Law Minister Mr K Shanmugam's remarks that the presiden 'can speak on issues only as authorised by the Cabinet; and he must follow the advice of the Cabinet in the discharge of his duties', I'd say I'm impressed to the comment of Dr Tony Tan as compared to the rest of the response.

While all--but him--sounded their disagreement one way or another against the Law Minister's remarks, Dr Tony Tan alone prefers thinking further about the issue. He said: "I will have more to say about my own views of the Office of President in the coming days and weeks".

No, it should not be seen as a sign of being indecisive.

Instead, it's a clear signal that he would not be jumping the gun which is exactly what a President ought to do. Instead of hastily declaring one's thought, Dr Tony Tan chose to be reserving his views & only to reveal them after days or weeks of pondering.

Admirable stategy, Dr Tony Tan!

Well done!

Current score is Dr Tony Tan: 1 - the 'Others': 0.

From top left to bottom right: Tan Kin Lian, Dr Tony Tan, Tan Jee Say, Tan Cheng Bock, Andrew Kuan and Ooi Boon Ewe | Photo Source

SPEAKING at a forum on Friday, Law Minister K Shanmugam said that the president 'can speak on issues only as authorised by the Cabinet; and he must follow the advice of the Cabinet in the discharge of his duties'. Mr Shanmugam cited Article 21(1) of the Constitution which says the president shall 'act in accordance with the advice of the Cabinet or of a Minister acting under the general authority of the Cabinet'.

The six presidential hopefuls each commented on Mr Shanmugan's remarks:


'It seems the president has less freedom of speech than ordinary citizens.

'I think if it's not forbidden, it is allowed. It doesn't mean I can do anything I want, it still has to be done in a proper, sensible way.'


'Yesterday, I attended a lively discussion at the IPS Forum on the Elected Presidency. The presentations and the Q&A were extremely thought-provoking. I will have more to say about my own views of the Office of President in the coming days and weeks.'


'I think the mission of the president is to provide checks and balances on the Government. He would not be doing his duty if he doesn't speak up whenever the Government crosses the line or fails to deliver the promises it's made to the people. He has the moral authority to do so because he has been directly elected by the people. If I'm elected president I would not betray their trust and I would speak up for them.

But I would not abuse my speaking rights. My approach is always first speak privately and confidentially with the prime minister, and convey my concerns. And I hope after the discussions he would make appropriate changes and I would not pursue further. But on fundamental issues of conscience, I reserve the right to speak up, when concerns of the people are not adequately taken care of.'


'The president is elected by Singaporeans. The office should be accorded due respect. So I am surprised by the minister's remarks, which I quote: 'Whether the president actually wields influence obviously depends on who the president is. If he is someone who commands little or no respect of the prime minister, then of course influence will be limited.' 'Is he saying that the people's choice of the president matters little unless he is endorsed by the Government? Then how is the president to be above politics?'


'The president's quality of voice (timbre) to the prime minister depends on his financial management skills and calibre, communication abilities, the amount of unfiltered voices of Singaporeans (he hears), informed working knowledge and practical wisdom; so he can speak from his heart, (with a) clear mind and agile spirit'


'Laws are made for man, not man for the law. You have to ask: Is the law good for the country?

'It is contradictory that an elected president cannot do this, cannot do that.

'The Council of Presidential Advisers is not elected and yet he has to heed its advice. He shouldn't be bound by chains. Otherwise, make it a non-elected president or ceremonial president instead.'

From Straits Times, "Presidential hopefuls react to Shanmugam remarks".


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