If you were expecting a public holiday on the 23rd September, you might be disappointed to hear that it’s not going to happen.
On the bright side, Singapore is about to make history by having her first Female President.
The Elections Department announced today that only one Certificate of Eligibility has been issued.
Although they did not name the successful candidate, presidential hopefuls Mohamed Salleh Marican and Farid Khan confirmed that their applications have been rejected.
Farid Khan’s statement:
“I accept the decisions made by the PEC and the Community Committee.
I wish to thank Singaporeans, my family and friends for their overwhelming support since I first announced my decision to contest in the upcoming election. Unfortunately, it is not meant to be. Nevertheless, it has been a meaningful journey and a wonderful experience.
Although I am disappointed by the Committees’ decision, it will not stop me from continuing to serve the people. As before, I will continue to serve to the best of my abilities.”
Salleh Marican’s statement:
“I am disappointed that the committee did not see it fit to give me the go-ahead to take part in the Presidential Election. But this doesn’t mean my work to help my fellow Singaporeans comes to an end. My team and I will regroup to see how the effort to help our disadvantaged sisters and brothers can go forward.”
To my family, members of my campaign team and supporters, friends, business associates and well wishers who had stood by me in my decision to become the President of Singapore I say, ‘Thank you for your unwavering support and I will continue to serve Singapore in other ways.'”
It had been a good race – the male candidates were very gentlemanly in their conduct towards Madam Halimah and her supporters. At no time did they express any kind of chauvinism.
Both exemplified the right spirit in running for an election – giving their best during the process and graciously accepting the outcome (regardless whether it’s desirable or not).
It is heartening to know that Mr Salleh Marican hasn’t given up hope on running for the next Presidential Election that may or may not take place in six years’ time.
He said, “If I believe I can qualify, I believe I will do so. I believe in second chances.”
It will be great if both of them can continue to serve Singapore in different capacities.
In the meantime
Madam Halimah will have to submit her papers before nominations close at noon on Wednesday (13 Sept). Only then, she will be declared Singapore’s eighth President.
If you’re thinking of heading down to the nomination centre at the People’s Association headquarters at 9 King George’s Avenue, do take note of the following:
- Try not to bring bags or flying drones as you’ll be subject to security checks
- Do not display placards, flags or banners before the close of nomination proceedings, which will start at 11am
- Travel by public transport as only vehicles with approved decals will be allowed to enter and park in the centre
The nomination centre opens at 10am so if you want to “chope” an area with good views, do head down early.
Singapore will make history
It will be a defining moment in Singapore’s history when the elections department officially announces Madam Halimah as Singapore’s next President.
Like S R Nathan, she will also need time to earn the respect of ordinary Singaporeans.
Let’s hope that people will give her a chance to do so.