Where have all the prominent Malay figures gone?

Since last year, I have believed that that a true picture of the worth of the woman or man who becomes President would be by way of an open election. I stand by this conviction.

However, the writing was on the wall. The die was cast.

This is where we are at, after months of political strategies, legal wranglings and amendments to the Constitution.

There is a disquiet in me because I was not able to exercise my right to vote.

Most of all, I rue the fact that the electorate was not able to vote in an open election.

That said, I wonder why other prominent businessmen and women, and indeed politicians, of the Malay community chose not to run in this presidential election.

Indeed, if we had a larger slate of Malay candidates, we would have had a chance to vote for the person who we believe could do the job well.

Instead, we had three candidates, two of whom didn't stand a ghost of a chance.

Madam Halimah Yacob carries the burden of knowing that she was not popularly elected, but that she ascended to the highest office in the land in a walkover.

Corinne Fong (Ms)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 14, 2017, with the headline 'Where have all the prominent Malay figures gone?'. Print Edition | Subscribe