Presidential hopeful Farid Khan submits application forms to contest election

Mr Khan, who is chief executive of regional marine services firm Bourbon Offshore Asia, handed in his applications for the certificate of eligibility and community certificate at the Elections Department on Thursday.
Mr Khan, who is chief executive of regional marine services firm Bourbon Offshore Asia, handed in his applications for the certificate of eligibility and community certificate at the Elections Department on Thursday.ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR

SINGAPORE - Businessman Farid Khan has submitted his application forms to contest in the coming reserved election next month, the second presidential hopeful to do so.

The 61-year-old, who is chief executive of regional marine services firm Bourbon Offshore Asia, handed in his applications for the certificate of eligibility and community certificate at the Elections Department (ELD) on Thursday (Aug 24).

Mr Farid was accompanied by four supporters when he arrived at the ELD in Prinsep Street at 10.30am on Thursday morning. They spent 10 minutes in the department.

The Singaporean of Pakistani descent is among three people who have signalled their intention to run in the election so far.

The other two are former Speaker of Parliament Halimah Yacob, 62, and businessman Mohamed Salleh Marican, 67, chief executive of Second Chance Properties, who handed in his applications for the certificate of eligibility and community certificate on Wednesday.

Mr Farid does not automatically qualify to run in the election, as the Constitution requires candidates from the private sector to have run a company with at least $500 million in shareholder equity, on average, for the most recent three years.

His company reportedly has shareholder equity of around US$300 million (S$413 million), which is below the threshold.

 
 
 

However the Presidential Elections Committee, which evaluates candidates, has the discretion to allow a candidate who does not automatically meet the criteria to stand for election.

Asked about the prospect of a walkover, Mr Farid said: "I would be disappointed. I think a lot of people would be disappointed."

He added that he has submitted a "very comprehensive" set of documents about his company, totalling five volumes, to the ELD.

His team is also ready to contest the elections, and will roll out his campaign after he gets confirmation that he is eligible, he said.

"Whether (there is a) two-corner or three-corner (contest), I am ready for it," he said.

Before he announced his campaign bid in July, Mr Farid was a low-profile businessman largely known only in the marine sector.

On the low-key nature of his visit to the ELD, he said in Malay: "I don't see the need to make such a clamour or commotion."

On Wednesday, presidential hopeful Mohamed Salleh Marican turned up at the ELD with about 20 supporters.