Have appointed, elected aspects to presidency

With regard to the current public hearings on changes to the elected presidency ("19 groups and individuals to speak on elected presidency"; April 15, and "Participants at hearing agree on need for minority president"; April 19), I have the following suggestions.

The presidency could revert to one which is appointed by Parliament. This would make minority representation a non-issue, and the president would be the recognised head of state.

A new elected position could then be created to take over the powers of the current elected presidency.

Alternatively, the appointed president could retain some of the existing powers of the elected president, such as the granting of reprieves of death sentences.

The new elected position could function almost like the current elected presidency, with advice from a council similar to the current Council of Presidential Advisers.

Very importantly, as this person will not be the head of state, there is no need to worry about minority representation.

To avoid causing unrealistic public expectations over what this new position can achieve, great care needs to be given over the naming of the position.

For example, using terms such as "custodian" or "guardian" rather than "chancellor" will reduce public expectations that the new position will be a new centre of power to rival the Government.

Lee Keng Hua