Constitutional Commission on elected presidency: Ranvir Kumar Singh's submission

Lawyer Ranvir Kumar Singh at the second public hearing on April 22, 2016.
Lawyer Ranvir Kumar Singh at the second public hearing on April 22, 2016. ST PHOTO: LAU FOOK KONG

SINGAPORE - Lawyer Ranvir Kumar Singh has proposed raising the bar that requires private sector candidates in the elected presidency to have experience running a company with a paid-up capital of at least $100 million.

Using Singtel as a benchmark, Mr Singh, 57, said at the hearing on Friday (April 22) the amount should be increased to $500 million.

Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon, who chairs the Constitutional Commission, acknowledged that the $500 million threshold would capture the top 0.2 per cent of firms in Singapore - the same proportion captured in 1991 when the original threshold was set at $100 million.

 

Mr Singh also suggested looking at the net assets, governance record and profitability of companies, to determine if a potential candidate had done a good job.

Commission member and chairman and chief executive of venture Corporation Wong Ngit Liong, however, noted that this would involve a qualitative change to the criteria and asked if it would mean the Presidential Elections Committee would be making more subjective judgments when deciding who qualifies to run.

Mr Singh replied that the committee's members must be of a high calibre to be in a position to judge.