3 presidential hopefuls

Farid confident of getting nod, rolls out videos to woo voters

Mr Farid Khan, who launched a 46-second video on Facebook yesterday, says he will use social media and woo voters on the ground.
Mr Farid Khan, who launched a 46-second video on Facebook yesterday, says he will use social media and woo voters on the ground.ST PHOTO: CHEW SENG KIM

With the Writ of Election out, all three hopefuls are stepping up preparations for the campaign in the lead-up to Nomination Day.

Businessman Farid Khan is confident he will qualify to run for the highest office in the land in next month's election, which has been reserved for Malay candidates.

"I am confident that both committees will affirm my eligibility to contest and that I belong to the Malay community," the 61-year-old said in a statement yesterday after the Writ of Election was issued.

The chairman of regional marine services company Bourbon Offshore Asia handed in his forms to the Presidential Elections Committee (PEC) and the Community Committee last Thursday.

He does not automatically qualify for the Sept 23 election, as candidates from the private sector must have run a company with an average of at least $500 million in shareholder equity for the most recent three years.

Bourbon Offshore Asia reportedly has shareholder equity of around US$300 million (S$406 million), which falls below the threshold.

Mr Farid declined to spell out what was the shareholder equity stated in the form he submitted to the Elections Department.

"I believe that it meets all the requirements and criteria set by the PEC," he told The Straits Times.

He added that his campaign team is ready, and his campaign will make use of social media and also woo voters on the ground.

On Facebook yesterday, he launched a 46-second video titled "Who is Farid Khan?" Eight more videos are in the pipeline.

"While I have to admit that I am new to this, I hope I can reach out to as many Singaporeans (as possible), getting to know them and getting them to know me too," he said.

Mr Farid previously announced that his campaign would be based on the theme "Together we build our nation". He has also listed five issues he would prioritise if elected, which include countering the threat of radicalism by working closely with the Government and other organisations, and building trust among people of different races and religions.

Mr Farid is of Pakistani descent, a fact that has led some to question whether he can represent the Malay community. He has countered this by saying he speaks Malay, was born in a Malay village in Geylang Serai, practises the Malay culture and worships at Al-Abdul Razak Mosque in Eunos.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 29, 2017, with the headline 'Farid confident of getting nod, rolls out videos to woo voters'. Print Edition | Subscribe