Elected presidency: Proposed changes may be at odds with spirit of meritocracy

I read with interest the debate on the need to tweak the Constitution to ensure that a president from minority races is elected from time to time ("Race still counts in politics and at the ballot box"; Sept 5).

Much as I see the merits of such an exercise, I still think such a change is at odds with the spirit of a meritocratic election - which is voting for the best candidate based on his abilities, and not on race.

What if the next president is slated to be from a minority race, but there are also other possible candidates from the majority race who may be eminently more qualified?

If such a revised Constitution plays a part in determining our next president, it may defeat the purpose of having an elected president, as voters' wish for a free and fair election would be diluted.

We should think twice about tweaking the Constitution if it runs counter to the spirit of meritocracy in an election.

We should also not underestimate the rationality and maturity of Singaporeans when it comes to casting the sacrosanct vote for someone who is a critical safeguard for the country's reserves.

Seah Yam Meng