Presidential Election 2017

8 symbols approved for candidates' use

Candidates must provide a symbol to be placed opposite their names on ballot papers and to use in campaigning, if there is a contest for the post on Sep 23.
Candidates must provide a symbol to be placed opposite their names on ballot papers and to use in campaigning, if there is a contest for the post on Sep 23. PHOTO: GOVERNMENT GAZETTE

A helicopter, ship, flower, feather and magnifying glass are among eight approved symbols candidates could use to represent themselves in the Presidential Election next month.

Candidates must provide a symbol to be placed next to their names on ballot papers and to use in campaigning, if there is a contest for the post on Sept 23.

They can choose from the list of eight symbols - which also includes a violin, scroll and binoculars - published yesterday in the Government Gazette ahead of next month's election, which is reserved for Malay candidates.

Alternatively, they can submit their own symbol for approval by returning officer Ng Wai Choong.

The Elections Department's candidate handbook states the choice of symbol must be settled before 12.30pm on Nomination Day, if the election is contested.

Three people have said they intend to stand in the election - former Speaker of Parliament Halimah Yacob, and businessmen Farid Khan and Salleh Marican.

Voters will go to the polls if more than one qualifies to run.

Mr Farid has created his own symbol and will officially unveil it after he is found eligible to run, his spokesman said yesterday. The symbol could be a blue house with what appears to be the Chinese character "ren", or people, for its roof, seen in the cover photo on his Facebook page and in a cartoon image of himself that he posted.

Mr Salleh has submitted his own symbol for approval, said his spokesman, without giving details.

A spokesman for Madam Halimah said she will reveal more details about her campaign today.

Besides appearing on ballot papers, candidate symbols must also be clearly displayed on posters or banners during the campaign period so voters can tell them apart.

During the last Presidential Election in 2011, which saw a four-way contest, President Tony Tan Keng Yam's symbol was his trademark spectacles. Dr Tan Cheng Bock chose a palm tree, Mr Tan Jee Say chose a heart, and Mr Tan Kin Lian used a speech bubble with an etched-out handprint.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 29, 2017, with the headline '8 symbols approved for candidates' use'. Print Edition | Subscribe