Constitutional Commission on elected presidency: Eugene Tan's submission

Singapore Management University Law professor and former Nominated MP Eugene Tan speaks during the Constitutional Commission 2016 public hearing.
Singapore Management University Law professor and former Nominated MP Eugene Tan speaks during the Constitutional Commission 2016 public hearing. ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN

SINGAPORE - Singapore Management University law don Eugene Tan was the first to appear before the Constitutional Commission at the first public hearing on Monday (April 18).

He touched on a wide range of topics - including the eligibility criteria to be president, the importance of having a minority president, and when proposed changes to the elected presidency should kick in - for 1½ hours, the longest among all contributors on Monday.

Professor Tan, 46, said that installing a legal framework to ensure a minority president would undermine the president's legitimacy and amount to affirmative action, which he said "is not in our DNA".

"Maybe I'm idealistic, I'm just very uncomfortable with institution design that engineers certain outcomes," he added. Instead, candidates should be required to show a track record of championing multiracialism, he said.