Vote for someone who is good for Singapore, says presidential hopeful Farid Khan

Presidential hopeful Mr Farid Khan at the An-Nur mosque on Sept 1, 2017. ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN

SINGAPORE - Presidential hopeful Farid Khan hopes voters will have Singapore's best interests in mind in the event that they go to the polls later this month.

The chairman of regional marine services company Bourbon Offshore Asia Pacific urged Singaporeans to vote for the best person in the presidential election - "someone who is good for the country and will serve the country".

"I would prefer those who vote for me, to vote for who I am, what I stand for," he told reporters on Friday (Sept 1), after performing prayers with congregants at An-Nur Mosque in Woodlands on Hari Raya Haji.

Mr Farid, 62, is one of three people known to have submitted applications to contest the presidential election, which is the first to be reserved for Malay candidates.

The other two are Second Chance Properties chief executive Salleh Marican, 67, and former Speaker of Parliament Halimah Yacob, 63.

Mr Farid said he is very happy that none of the presidential hopefuls have launched personal attacks on each other.

"There's a good system in place. Let the voters decide. Don't go into personal attacks, I don't think that's right...A proper clean and fair election process is already in place, just follow it," he said.

Mr Farid had submitted his applications for a certificate of eligibility and community certificate last Thursday (Aug 24).

He hopes the results will be made known next week, so his team has more time to prepare for campaigning.

The six-member Presidential Elections Committee has until Sept 12, the eve of Nomination Day, to decide who qualifies to run. New campaign rules have been introduced for the upcoming election to ensure campaigning is dignified, in keeping with the office of the president.

Mr Farid said this is why he has stuck to walkabouts so far and used social media to share more about himself.

Mr Salleh told The Straits Times he too, welcomes the new rules.

"For the President to be a unifier, he must be highly respected. Running a campaign that is not dignified can easily diminish the reputation of the candidate," he said.

Over the next few days, he plans to meet with his campaign manager and key members of the team to review their campaign plans.

Mr Farid intends to continue with his walkabouts, pray at mosques around the island, and meet some friends.

As for his Hari Raya plans, Mr Farid said: "I'm going to be a bit indulgent on food, like curry and dalcha (an Indian stew) and pastries."

But in a nod to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's call to fight diabetes, he said he would "cut down on my sugar a little bit".

"Normally these days we drink a lot of sweet drinks and I want to remind everybody: reduce sugar," he added. "That's what I'll do today."

Mr Salleh started his Hari Raya with prayers at Kampung Siglap Mosque in Marine Parade with his family, and the family had breakfast at home together later. Relatives joined them for a lunch of lontong and rendang, he said.

Madam Halimah Yacob also visited An-Nur Mosque on Friday morning, which is located in her former Marsiling ward. She then went to Woodlands Stadium to perform Aidil Aidha prayers.

Mr Salleh attended prayers at Kampung Siglap Mosque in Marine Parade, and said he will spend the day with family and friends.

In a Facebook post in the evening, she said she joined Darul Aman Mosque chairman Abdul Rahim, who is an old friend of hers, to distribute to underprivileged people meat from the 3,700 livestock sacrificed islandwide to mark the Hari Raya Haji festival.

"I am pleased to see many volunteers coming together to help one another and the needy among us...Let's do good and do together and make Singapore a better place for all," she said.

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