Elected presidency review : Former candidate Tan Cheng Bock urges people to give views

Former presidential candidate Tan Cheng Bock has called on Singaporeans to give their views on a review of the elected presidency.
Former presidential candidate Tan Cheng Bock has called on Singaporeans to give their views on a review of the elected presidency. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Former presidential candidate Tan Cheng Bock has called on Singaporeans to give their views on a review of the elected presidency to ensure a system "that will enable us to elect a truly independent and effective president".

Urging people to make submissions to a Constitutional Commission set up to lead the review, he said: "Make your views known now on why (there is) need to change. It is important for the future of Singapore."

He also said in his Facebook post on Monday that he had "lost narrowly" to current President, Dr Tony Tan Keng Yam, by 0.34 per cent of votes.

Dr Tan Cheng Bock was one of four people who contested the 2011 presidential election.

A nine-member Constitutional Commission that includes public and private sector leaders was formed last month to lead the review on the elected presidency.

The Commission, chaired by Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon, had its first meeting last month and has called on people to submit their views and ideas.

It will look into three key aspects of the system: to keep the eligibility criteria for potential candidates up to date, beef up the powers of the Council of Presidential Advisers (CPA) and ensure that minority candidates have a chance to be elected.

In January, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong told Parliament the President had to stay elected, but various aspects of the office had to be reviewed.