Applications of two new Presidential candidates rejected for not being Malay

Overall, five applications were received by the Elections Department to contest the upcoming Singapore Presidential election. However, two applicants for the Presidential election are out of the running automatically as one declared himself to be Chinese while the other said that he does not consider himself to be a member of any official ethnic community here.

Following changes made to the Elected Presidency scheme passed by Parliament last November, the Presidential election has been reserved for members of the Malay community this year.

Istana is the official residence of President of Singapore. Photo courtesy: Wikipedia

The revision allows for the election to be reserved for a particular ethnicity which has not had an elected representative for five consecutive terms.

Issuing a press release, Elections Department of Singapore said, “We received a total of five applications for the Certificate of Eligibility. Of these applicants, three persons applied for the Malay Community Certificate, one person applied for the Chinese Community Certificate, and one person declared that he does not consider himself to be a member of the Chinese community, the Malay community, or the Indian or other minority communities.

It further stated, “As this Presidential Election is reserved for the Malay community, the Community Committee must reject a community declaration if the declarant does not state that he considers himself to be a member of the community to which the election is reserved.”

One of these two applicants is believed to be private-hire car driver Shirwin Eu.

As a result, there are three applicants for this year’s Presidential elections who consider themselves to be Malays. They include former Speaker of Parliament Halimah Yacob (62), chairman of marine services provider Bourbon Offshore Asia Pacific Farid Khan (62) and chief executive of Second Chance Properties Mohamed Salleh Marican (67).

Meanwhile, the Presidential Elections Committee and Community Committee will assess their applications, and inform them of the outcome before Nomination Day on September 13.

If there is only one eligible candidate, Returning Officer Ng Wai Choong will declare him or her the elected President on Nomination Day.

There will not be a poll in this case, and the candidate will start his or her term as President the next day.

However, if no one is successfully nominated, the Prime Minister will issue a fresh writ declaring an open election.

Ashraf Jamal
Ashraf Jamal – Senior Writer

Ashraf Jamal brings a rare depth to writing equipped with a degree in journalism, a postgraduate degree in political science, and a degree in law from the Allahabad University. His experience includes editing and publishing the Northern India Patrika and writing for Times of India for almost a decade covering just about any topic under the sun including NRIs and Indian diaspora.


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