Voices Of Youth

Elected presidency a step forward

The elected presidency, as an institutional rather than a political check and balance, represents a natural development in Singapore's constitutional evolution towards a mature democracy.

Allowing Singaporeans to elect their president reinforces their faith in constitutionality and the system, while fostering pluralism.

The president must be above party politics, but neither can he be a rubber stamp.

Returning the appointment of the president to Parliament is a step backwards from further democratisation, as it entrenches too much power in one body.

Currently, Parliament can - by a two-thirds majority - vote to overrule the decision of the president.

Our society must revise the unhealthy and outdated assumption that we have an uneducated, immature electorate.

Education remains key. Institutional voices must persistently educate the public on the president's true role and responsibilities, in order to ensure a responsible president is elected.

If the Government is to cultivate a Singaporean culture of innovation and risk-taking, it should lead by example, using the foundation of our society: the political and constitutional system.

Taking a calculated risk with the people and the innovation of an elected presidency for Singapore's benefit is a good start.

Shaun Fu Wei Wen, 19, full-time national serviceman


CALLING YOUNG READERS:

If you are 21 or below and want to air your opinion on any article or letter in The Straits Times, e-mail your letter to stforum@sph.com.sg, with the header "Voices of Youth". Do include your age, educational level and contact details, and the headline of the article/letter you refer to.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 03, 2016, with the headline 'Elected presidency a step forward'. Print Edition | Subscribe