Enlarge elected president's role

Studying whether and how to improve our political system is a vital new task that the Government and the people should work on together post-SG50 ("Govt to study if political system needs tweaking"; Jan 16).

Any changes must be done with the nation's long-term political vibrancy and stability as the ultimate goal.

One area we could explore is whether we could broaden the duty of the elected president to empower him to play a more constructive role in our political and governance system.

His role would still be advisory in nature and he should not interfere with or influence the decision-making process in Parliament. He will remain as our head of state.

His enhanced role would be focused on justice, equality, peace, harmony and freedom.

We could empower him to proactively identify lapses or deterioration in these areas. To do this, the president could commission periodic studies in these areas. He should also interact with the media, academia, the business community, civil servants and the public to gather views and feedback.

The president could convey his views and opinions to the prime minister or he could publish them in the media.

This enlarged role of the president would ensure that we will not neglect our progress in justice, equality, peace, harmony and freedom while pursuing advancement in economic and other material achievements in the volatile post-SG50 environment.

Ng Ya Ken