Litmus test for a President

Dear Straits Times,

I refer to the 20 Aug 2011 letter by Mr Bobby Jayaraman.

Mr Jayaraman claims that Mr Tan Jee Say is calling for the president to be independent of the PAP in order to be the guardian of the nation’s reserves. In calling for the president to be independent of the PAP, Mr Tan Jee Say mentioned issues such as job losses, widening income gap, overcrowding, high cost of living, unequal sharing of economic benefits and so on. Thus, Mr Jayaraman is wrong to suggest that Mr Tan’s call for the president to be independent of the PAP is solely for the purpose of guarding the nation’s reserves. Mr Tan’s call for the president to be independent of the PAP is for the purpose of speaking up on bread and butter issues.

Mr Jayaraman’s illustration of the flaw in what he claims to be Mr Tan Jee Say’s logic is also flawed. Mr Jayaraman points out that the PAP had ample opportunity to plunder our reserves during its long, singular rein of Singapore. But not having plundered so far doesn’t mean the PAP will never plunder in the future. In fact, according to a report by Mr Leong Sze Hian: http://theonlinecitizen.com/2011/08/how-much-of-the-reserves-has-been-really-used/, the privatisation of state assets since 1999 can be considered ‘raiding of reserves’ by the government.

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