Reserved elections a step towards race-blind politics

I share Mr Nizam Idris' sentiments ("Big step backwards for Malay community"; Nov 15).

However, I do not see the move to trigger the proposed mechanism for a reserved presidential election in the next polls as any indictment of Malay weaknesses, but, in some ways, an indictment of the majority race's biases at the ballot box ("S'pore's next president set to be Malay"; Nov 9).

Have there been eligible Malays who stayed away from the presidential race because of this perceived bias? With the ethnicity element taken out of next year's presidential election, will they now step up to the plate?

They should take next year's presidential election as an opportunity to prove that the Malay community has what it takes to contribute at that level.

It may take many reserved presidencies to prove that point.

But it may just well take less than America's 230 years for a member of a minority race to be elected president in an open, unreserved presidential election in Singapore, due to this proactive measure.

Let's hope Mr Nizam and other members of Singapore's minority communities will have the pleasure of seeing that happen not too far in the future.

Osman Sidek

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 17, 2016, with the headline 'Reserved elections a step towards race-blind politics'. Print Edition | Subscribe