Why make minority representation an issue in presidency?

During the hearings on proposed changes to the elected presidency, issues on the inclusion of minority candidates were raised.

In the past, we have had both appointees as well as elected candidates to the presidency. The system worked well. Was there ever an issue with the minority race representation in the process? Why the sudden interest in offering minority representation?

Members of minority races are not barred or prevented from seeking office. So long as they are qualified and have a desire to serve, they can offer their candidacy. So far, none have come forward.

Racism is not an issue, as Singapore already has a meritocratic system in place for all office bearers, regardless of race, religion or creed.

From pre-school, children of all races mix and bond, and the racial harmony is carried on in universities, during national service and in the workplace. The racial mix in the heartland propagates the kampung spirit.

The recent by-election in the single-member constituency of Bukit Batok proved that Singaporeans do not vote along racial lines.

Qualified candidates who are willing to serve should step forward to offer themselves for election, regardless of their race, religion or creed.

More important is their commitment and dedication to the office of the President. There are many prospective candidates from the minority races who are well qualified. No one should be a candidate for the sake of being a candidate from a minority race.

Lin Howard