Friday, August 05, 2011

The Voice of the People and the Constitution

Response to Minister Shanmugan’s comments at IPS seminar,

Mr Shanmugan has presented a clear explanation on what are the constitutionally defined roles and responsibilities of our Elected President. If I am elected, as the constitutional Head of State, I would certainly uphold the letter and spirit of the law of our land and follow all the constitutional requirements expected of me.

In carrying out the duties of the President, I do not see a conflict between the constitutional requirements and the 5 values I espouse namely: Honesty, Fairness, Public Service, Courage and Public Service. These are the values I will apply in using the soft powers of the President.

In fulfilling my pledge to be the Voice of the People, I am pledging to be their interlocutor with the government as and when useful and appropriate. I note that he and Professor Tommy Koh revealed that the PM meets with the President weekly and I assume this convention will continue, whoever is elected. This mechanism ensures that substantial discussion could take place, if both sides are willing to have a dialogue.

During this period, leading up to polling day, each candidate must find the means to make themselves known and hopefully be forthright and truthful about how they intend to carry out their duties. As stated in my latest statement ( if elected, I intend to work in full co-operatrion with the government to find common ground on issues that the people feel strong about. I believe that a good government will be able to recognize a genuine call from the people and that the moral authority of the President will be sufficient weight for fair consideration.

Obviously, I will have to exercise discretion in raising the issues which are of greatest concern and urgency as well as those which are of real impact on Singapore and where there is need for confidentiality or discretion, I will know how to exercise this. I believe strongly that much can be achieved with a spirit of cooperation but it has to be both ways.


rex said...

Rex comments as follows,

i am utterly disappointed that Law Minister commented today "if the president is someone who commands little or no respect of the Prime Minister, then of course influence (of the President) will be limited"

It is quite obvious that the enitre PAP machinery only respects Tony Tan, and nobody else.

So why go through the Elections? PAP might as well install their president straight away. Tony tan is well respected by Lee Hsien Loong, but not necessarily by the People of Singapore. You will never find a person "a figure of Unity" that will unite both Pap and non PAP people. Such person doesnt exist.

The PRime Minister's respect for the elected president is NOT THE ISSUE. If the elections shows the majority will of the President is Tan Kin Lian, or Tan Jee Say, then the Prime Minister has to humble himself and learn to respect the will of the People as well as learn to respect Tan Kin Lian or Tan Jee Say whoever.

The PM is simply too proud to respect anybody other than a stooge yes-man.


yujuan said...

We should ask why Tony Tan is asked to leave GIC and go for the Presidency, he should stay in the Sovereign Fund if he so claimed that he himself is the best person to work with the Govt to steer the country's economy through rough winds ahead in this world. The President being just a custodial authority and having to consult the Govt in all matters, then it is primarily a demotion for TT if he is the President, and thus over qualified for the job.
Then it would be the country's loss for such a talent, his powers restricted by the Constitution.
We may make a guess, that PM Lee dun want him to be at GIC, as PM, the Chairman, wants full control and dun want TT, who is more experienced than him in Fund management, to be his Advisor, As President, the PM could control TT instead.
Yes, we could gauge that as President, It's demotion for TT.
like father, like son, PM Lee wants full control of the country's funds. Let's hope that, our PM is shrewder than his wife in managing our moneys.

Anonymous said...

Hi there Mr Tan,

Would you like to re-state your 5 values again?


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