SINGAPORE - The founder and chief executive officer of Second Chance Properties, Mr Mohamed Salleh Marican, 67, has said he hopes to run for president.
He told The Straits Times in an email on Wednesday (May 31) that he will be collecting the application forms required to contest the presidential election in September.
Mr Mohamed Salleh's name had been bandied about in recent weeks as a potential candidate for the upcoming election, which will be reserved for Malay candidates. His company is the first owned by a Malay/Muslim to be listed on the Singapore Exchange.
"It is encouraging to know that many have considered me as a potential candidate," he said.
"The short answer is that, I believe I have done well for myself in business and would like to step up and give back to society in a much larger way. The position and influence of the Elected President will have a great impact on whatever activities he or she choose to promote."
He added that he "can also fulfill the call of most Singaporeans who desire a truly independent Elected President, one who is untainted by party politics".
On Thursday (June 1), applications for presidential election certificates will open. Prospective candidates must apply to the Presidential Elections Committee for a certificate of eligibility and to the Community Committee to certify that they are a member of the Malay community. Applications close five days after the writ of election is issued, in late August.
Under changes to the Constitution approved last November, candidates from the private sector must have been the chief executive of a company with at least $500 million in shareholders' equity, on average, for the most recent three years.
Second Chance Properties' shareholder equity was between $254.3 million and $263.25 million in the past three financial years, which is lower than this requirement.
However, the Presidential Elections Committee has the discretion to certify that a candidate who does not automatically meet the criteria can stand, if it is satisfied that he has the experience and ability to effectively carry out the functions and duties of the office of the President.