Guard against an activist president

Dear Straits Times,

I refer to the 31 Aug 2011 letter by Mr Bobby Jayaraman.

Mr Jayaraman says that Singapore got the best man for the president’s post. 65% of Singaporeans disagree with him. They did not vote for Dr Tony Tan. They therefore did not think that Dr Tony Tan is the best man for the job.

Mr Jayaraman frowns on the 30% of voters whom he feels had voted for a candidate who disagreed with the constitution’s definition of the president’s role. Mr Jayaraman is mistaken. Those candidates didn’t disagree with the constitution’s definition of the president’s role. In the first place, the constitution does not define the president as one who is gagged and cannot speak up against injustice and immorality. No just and moral constitution can gag the president as such.

Mr Jayaranman seems to imply that only those who had voted for Dr Tony Tan had asked themselves the basic question of the real role of the president and who is best qualified. Mr Jayaranman is mistaken. There has been anecdotal evidence that many of our elderly voted Dr Tony Tan blindly without question. If that were true, then reality would be opposite to what Mr Jayaranman has implied.

Mr Jayaranman is worried that an activist president might overrule the cabinet in the use of reserves during a crisis. But a non-activist president can also overrule the cabinet in the use of reserves. When asked about whether they would approve the use of reserves during a crisis, activist presidential candidates gave very similar answers to non-activist candidates. Mr Jayaranman’s worry is therefore misplaced.

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One Response to “Guard against an activist president”

  1. fabrizzo Says:

    dr tony has won,so why does bob still complain?didnt we all agree to let the votes decide?why would an activist president stop the government from helping the people in times of a crisis?arent they all for the people?

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