Singaporeans plan massive protest
- REPORT: Singaporeans plan massive protest against Nathan
By: Simon R. Nigel
South East Asia Correspondent,
Asia Press Service
SINGAPORE, Aug 13 (APS) - A mass rally is being planned on August 17,
nomination day for Singapore's presidential election, to protest
against the government's refusal to allow potential candidate Andrew
Kuan to run for the post of president.
The organisers plan to hold the protest at the People's Association
headquarters at around 11 am, when the incumbent, Mr SR Nathan,
arrives to file his nomination for re-election.
On Saturday, the island's Presidential Elections Committee granted Mr
Nathan a "Certificate of Eligibility" to contest the election and
rejected the bids by three other applicants.
This means that come Nomination Day on August 17, the 81 year-old
former internal security chief will be returned unopposed for a
second six-year term.
In a statement, the committee said that Mr Nathan has "all the
credentials for the office of the President and is well regarded and
respected for his public service".
It also announced its reasons for rejecting the other three
It said two of them, Mr Ooi Boon Ewe, a former tutor, and Mr
Ramachandran Govindasamy Naidu, a retired senior store keeper, were
rejected due to their lack of qualifications.
"The career history of these two men obviously showed that they did
not hold any similar or comparable position of seniority and
responsibility in any other organisation or department of equivalent
size or complexity in the public or private sector, which is
necessary for the office of the Presidency," said the statement.
As for Mr Andrew Kuan, the former Group Chief Financial Officer of
JTC, the committee argued that "the seniority and responsibility of
that position was not comparable to those needed for the office
Singaporeans by and large were shocked at the announcement and
newspaper offices were flooded with calls from irate readers calling
on the government to explain the rationale for rejecting Mr Kuan's
Meanwhile, online newsgroups and blogs saw tons of angry postings
calling for the government to allow Mr Kuan to stand for the
A posting on the soc.culture.singapore newsgroup said: "it's pretty
obvious the MW ("men in white", here referring to the ruling PAP
government) is NOT READY for the TEST".
As the public outcry triggered by a huge scandal at the government-
backed NKF (National Kidney Foundation) is still fresh on many
people's minds, the reader said the government was afraid that Mr
Nathan could be defeated at the polls.
Speaking to reporters, the organisers of the protest rally said they
hoped Singaporeans would turn out in force to pressure the government
to review their decision to reject Mr Kuan's bid.
"The PAP government obviously owes the people of Singapore an
explanation," said the spokesman, who refused to be named.
Meanwhile, an online petition calling on Singaporeans to support Mr
Andrew Kuan for the presidency
(http://www.petitiononline.com/sg050817/) has been gathering steam
since it was launched by a mass organisation calling itself The
Singapore Patriotic Front (SPF) here on Sunday.
The SPF said Mr Kuan's "distinguished record in public service,
strong professional financial training and experience" would allow
him to do well as a "People's President", provide "a watchful eye
over the Singapore's national assets and foreign reserves", as well
as push for "greater transparency and accountability in the
The petition also slammed the incumbent, Mr Nathan, for failing to
discharge the responsibilities of his office "despite having received
close to $10 million in salary over the last five years".
It added: "this could be attributed to his lack of financial training
and his being appointed by the Singapore Government instead of being
elected by the Singapore citizens".
Expressing shock at the government's rejection of Mr Kuan's bid, the
SPF argued that "if the incumbent, despite his poor performance and
his alleged connections with the Japanese Kempeitai during World War
II, is allowed to run for the Presidential Election, there is no
reason for a more qualified candidate like Mr Kuan to be denied
the 'Certificate of Eligibility'".
"Unless the Singapore Government is trying to manipulate the outcome
of the election to suit its nepotic & despotic needs," it added.
The SPF also took the state-controlled media to task for launching a
smear campaign against Mr Kuan.
"We demand that the Singapore Government stop treating Singaporeans
as fools and manipulating the media to cast the incumbent in the best
of light while conducting smear campaigns against all those who are
running against the incumbent. This is childish & unconstitutional,"
said the SPF.
Mr Nathan's office could not be reached for comment Sunday. - APS
Copyright: Asia Press Service
Comments: Mellanie Hewlitt
At an annual salary of SGD2.4 million per annum, SR Nathan is the
world's most expensive ribbon cutter. Being pro Establishment and
a "PAP Yes Man", he is eminently qualified for this purely ceremonial
After the previous President Ong Teng Cheong decided to take his role
seriously and questioned the government concerning state management
of the country's reserves, Singapore's Ruling Elite have been more
selective in screening potential applicants for this largely
Only in Singapore is it possible to have an "elected" president
without actually having an election.
Whilst the government (PAP) controlled press and papers print pages
of a resounding political victory, we append below some articles
which reflect the true state of Singapore's inner most incestuous
14 August 2005
The whole problem of the "election" of President Nathan.
I think by now we would have expected Nathan to get the certificate of
Eligability while the other 3 would be disqualified. After all, it
reeks of a well-organized PAP plot to continously support Nathan while
engaging in a shameful smear campaign against Mr. Andrew Kuan. The
Board who also decides who gets the CoE are also a bunch of PAP
loyalists and so are the Chief Operative Officers in the JTC board.
When Nathan decided to run for a 2nd term, immediately the top brass
of the PAP jumped on the bandwagon and decided that Nathan was indeed
the best 'candidate'. Week after week, more and more PAP ministers and
sub-ministers were praising Nathan for his 'hard work', 'loyalty' and
for being a 'People's President'.
Nathan also decided to crow those 'good points' again in countless ST
interviews. Everyone decided then and there that Nathan will be there,
no mistake and will win through a walkover. Case closed for the PAP
and their cronies isn't it?
Wrong. Andrew Kuan decided that he, too wanted a share of the action.
So last Friday, on the 6th of August, he filed his application for the
certificate. It stunned a lot of Singaporeans(in a pleasant way) while
shocking the top brass of PAP in an extremely bad way.
For one day, the PAP was slient. They wouldn't have realised that,
Andrew Kuan, also a PAP member would have the guts to challenge the
govt's appointed candidate. After that, it was war.
SPH newspapers from last Saturday onwards launched a smear campaign,
intending to discredit Mr. Kuan's CV at all costs. They didn't give
Kuan's supporters any chance of defending his friend. Nor did they
give Mr. Kuan a chance to defend himself either. The last low blow
happened on Thursday and Friday when Kuan's old bosses at Jurong Town
Corporation decided to come out and 'admit that Kuan was a useless
Of course, after the decision on Saturday(yesterday, 14th August) not
to issue the certificate to Mr. Kuan, the likes of the Straits Times
and Lianhe Zaobao proclaimed it to be the 'right decision' and that
Nathan was the only 'noble' and 'wise' candidate of all 4 who decided
to apply for it.
These actions not only reeks of a complete set-up and a sham of any
democratic actions, but it only shows how desperate the PAP are when
comes to ensuring that only their appointed candidate will get
elected- no matter what other people may think of it.
By doing so, the PAP has insulted the people's intelligence. By doing
so, they will ensure they have signed their death warrant. Such
arrogance will not go unpunished and such actions will be hard to
forget. If the PAP thinks that by doing this, they will extend their
reign- then they are completely mistaken.
Such insults are hard to forget, and there will be a time when they
will indeed regret it. But it will then also be a case of 'too little,
Forum: the Sammyboy.com's Alfresco Coffee Shop Forum
Subject: Mega Fraud: A Prez elected w/o election
DateTime: 13/08/2005 07:24:01
What a fraud on the people. An utter scam and farce of the gutter.The
country to have an ELECTED PRESIDENT without an election.Now the
question is, when the PrataMan sits in the chair again for
another five years, how is he going to adjust to the fact that the
citizens never elected him, they were denied the chance to elect a
prez and and that now he sits in the Istana by virtue of fraud,
scam and farce.
IF THIS MAN HAS SOME DIGNITY AND SELF ESTEEM HE WILL WALK AWAY FROM
THIS SCENE AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE. How will the Scums in White face
the people after this.
Even they are keeping quiet and still willing to wear that white
uniform. What kind of low integrity leaders this country is having
Forum: the Sammyboy.com's Alfresco Coffee Shop Forum
Subject: File complaint to United Nation abt PAP
DateTime: 13/08/2005 16:38:57
We gotta do file this complaint to UN right away.This is getting to
too much from the way PAPtoying with our democracy process and
ourcitizen rights in practice our voting rightsfor President
Election and General Election.
How long we Singaporean gotta tahan?No more, WE CAN'T TAKE IT
Fill up this form:
email to: tb-petitions@o...
Ask UN to come to Singapore to hold a fair General Election and
President Election forUS.
WE need UN power now to help us to get out fromPAP evil and unfair
ruling of Singapore.PAP is a illegimate government of Singapore.They
won every GE by using unfairness tacticlike GRC, redrawn of boundary,
Please clearly state your name, NRIC and address.They will
keep it confidential. don't fool aroundby filling up fake
informations.Lets do it now!!
For related discussions see:
1) Mellanie Hewlitt; Lifting The Veil On Singapore Politics
2) Carl Kapeland: Legitimized Corruption Understood
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