This isn’t GE

Dear Straits Times,

I refer to the 22 Aug 2011 letter by Mr Chia Hua Meng.

Mr Chia claims that the presidential election is not the general election and that candidates should not toe the opposition line as it would do more harm than good and make a mockery of our well-conceived presidential election.

While the presidential election is not the general election, it is an election involving all Singaporeans nonetheless. Any issue concerning all Singaporeans is an issue worth championing during the presidential election. Just because the issues happen to be general election issues as well doesn’t mean that they must therefore be excluded from the presidential election. There is no rule or law that says that presidential issues cannot be general election issues and vice versa. In both cases, we are talking about the wellbeing of Singaporeans. There is bound to be some overlap.

Thus, a candidate championing national issues may not be toeing the opposition line. It’s just that national issues happen to be championed by the opposition as well. There is therefore neither harm nor mockery in championing national issues as long as we are clear that they are national issues. High cost of living and over-crowdedness, you can’t say these are solely opposition issues and not national issues.


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