Changes to elected presidency must prove better than current system

Sometimes, it is best to leave things well alone, especially when they have served us so well for so long ("Understanding the President's role"; May 17).

That is why the changes being proposed for the presidency have to be considered very carefully.

We do not require tinkering with the system just for the sake of it or to please everyone.

What we require is a system that works, and if it means continuity rather than change, then, so be it.

But if there is a need to move with the times, then, this must prove better than the tried and tested methods in place.

I cannot understand why we still have this segregation along racial or ethnic lines.

By now, we should all be Singaporeans and be treated as such.

I fully agree with having our president selected on merit, rather than by race or ethnicity.

But the question is whether he is elected by the people or chosen by Parliament.

The latter method of selection has been effective thus far, so, do we really need to change it?

Sometimes, having an election and having the most popular man win is not to be recommended.

It could go against all that is required, if the office is to be upheld according to the exacting standards that have been set by past presidents, and the existing one.

No doubt the position of president is largely ceremonial. But, following amendments to the Constitution enacted in 1991, the president was also given certain powers over government expenditure of financial reserves and appointments to key public offices.

So, it is a position of some responsibility and must be entrusted to someone who is not only qualified, but also comes with the necessary character and capability to carry out his duties to the state and to its people.

Manoraj Rajathurai