Farid Khan submits forms for election

Mr Farid Khan with Mr Borhan Saini (right), a member of his campaign team, outside the Elections Department yesterday.
Mr Farid Khan with Mr Borhan Saini (right), a member of his campaign team, outside the Elections Department yesterday.ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR

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

The chief executive of regional marine services company Bourbon Offshore Asia handed in his applications for the certificate of eligibility and community certificate at the Elections Department (ELD) in Prinsep Link yesterday.

Four supporters were with him. They spent 10 minutes in the department after arriving at 10.30am.

Speaking to reporters later, Mr Farid, 61, said he is confident he will be deemed eligible to run in the upcoming election, which has been reserved for Malay candidates.

"We have submitted the documents. With confidence, I can say that I will be approved," he said.

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

Bourbon Offshore Asia reportedly has shareholder equity of around US$300 million (S$408 million), which falls 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.

So far, former Speaker of Parliament Halimah Yacob, 63, and Mr Mohamed Salleh Marican, chief executive of Second Chance Properties, have signalled their intention to run.

Mr Salleh, 67, went with about 20 supporters to submit his applications at the ELD on Wednesday.

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. And his team is ready to roll out his campaign if he gets confirmation that he is eligible to contest.

"Whether two-corner or three-corner, I am ready for it."

Yesterday, he broadcast his interview outside ELD live on Facebook. The previously low-profile businessman has posted photos of his activities, family and interviews since announcing his bid last month. Asked about the small number of supporters with him yesterday, he said in Malay: "I don't see the need to make such a clamour."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 25, 2017, with the headline 'Farid Khan submits forms for election'. Print Edition | Subscribe