Can a reserved Presidential Election give minorities a prominent voice?
The long drawn-out presidency war in America is now over. Unfortunately, Singapore's own presidency woes may have only just begun.
Following recent discussions about race in politics, the decision to hold a reserved Presidential Election for Malay candidates in Singapore has been finalised.
However, it seems like Singaporeans are having mixed feelings about this radical change.
What's going on?
On Nov 8, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced that the next Presidential Election, due next year, will be reserved for Malay candidates.
In the reviewed Elected Presidency, if there are no candidates from a particular race inducted into presidency for five continuous terms, the next term will be reserved for that community.
A reserved election is implemented to give members of the minority races an opportunity to be elected president every few years.
However, the change had many Singaporeans questioning the motives of this new rule.
While some are opposed to this idea, other felt that a reserved election is a form of tokenism and racism.
NETIZENS OF ALL RACES VOICED OUT WHY THEY DO NOT SUPPORT
THE IDEA OF A RESERVED ELECTION.
19-year-old student Hani Zuraidi said: "The decision almost seems racist to Malay people. Personally, I would rather have four worthy candidates of the different races campaigning for presidency at every election. That would make it a fair fight."
Undergraduate Jonathan Chen, 24, felt the same way.
"I feel that this is a 'try hard' way of promoting multi-racialism. Yes, minority races deserve a high level position to share their voices. But when I vote, all I see is who has the right qualifications to fit the job, and not by the colour of their skin," said Jonathan.
However, some youths we spoke to welcomed the change. They felt that the upcoming reserved election is much needed for minority representation.
ON THE OTHER HAND, SOME NETIZENS ARE LOOKING AT THIS MATTER OPTIMISTICALLY.
PHOTO CREDITS: SCREENSHOTS FROM FACEBOOK
Student Divya Kumar, 18, said: "I am actually glad that the government is making an effort to include everyone of all races. Minorities groups have a lot to offer towards the progress of Singapore. Having a minority president can shift our country's dynamics."
Banking officer Daniel Jacobs, 26, sees this upcoming election as a fantastic opportunity for his community to prove that they are more than capable.
"There is a stigma behind the Malay race. People say we are not smart or that we are lazy. But having a Malay president in the future can help to destroy this unfair judgement."
Daniel added: "They will be able to set a good role model for younger people in the Malay community, and encourage them to take on more impactful roles in building our nation."
What's your take?
1. Do you agree with the changes to the next Presidential Election? Why?
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