Constitutional Commission reviewing Elected Presidency received about 100 submissions, public hearings to start April 18

Dr Tony Tan, flanked by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong (left) and Chief Justice Chan Sek Keong, takes his oath of office as Singapore’s third elected president on Sept 1, 2011.
Dr Tony Tan, flanked by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong (left) and Chief Justice Chan Sek Keong, takes his oath of office as Singapore’s third elected president on Sept 1, 2011. PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

SINGAPORE - The Constitutional Commission has received more than 100 submissions about the elected presidency, and a number of contributors will be speaking at public hearings this month and next, the Commission said.

The Commission, which was set up to review aspects of the Elected Presidency and recommend how it can be updated, invited the public on Feb 18 to send in their views.

A little over 100 written submissions were received from various contributors.

The Commission "has carefully considered all submissions and has decided to invite a number of contributors to make oral representations clarifying or elaborating on their written submissions", it said.

They will be heard at public hearings, tentatively scheduled for next Monday (April 18), April 22, April 26 and May 6, between 9.30am and 5pm.

The hearings will be held at the Supreme Court auditorium, and will be open to the public.

More hearing dates will be added if necessary, said the Commission.

The Commission, led by Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon, expects to submit its recommendations, by the third quarter of this year, it said.

PM Lee said during the debate on the Presidential Address at the opening of Parliament that the President had to remain elected, but that certain aspects of the process had to be reviewed.

The growth in Singapore's reserves, of which the President is custodian, means that individuals with character as well as competence are needed, he said.

Yet another consideration: the need for candidates from minority races to get a chance to be elected from time to time.