Presidential hopefuls celebrate Hari Raya Haji

Presidential hopeful Farid Khan performing morning prayers at An-Nur Mosque in Woodlands on Sept 1, 2017.
Presidential hopeful Farid Khan performing morning prayers at An-Nur Mosque in Woodlands on Sept 1, 2017.ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN

Presidential hopeful Farid Khan greeting people at An-Nur Mosque in Woodlands on Sept 1, 2017.
Presidential hopeful Farid Khan greeting people at An-Nur Mosque in Woodlands on Sept 1, 2017.ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN

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 marine services company Bourbon Offshore Asia Pacific yesterday 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 after performing morning prayers at An-Nur Mosque in Woodlands.

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

On his plans for Hari Raya Haji, Mr Farid said: "I'm going to be a bit indulgent about food, like curry, 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".

Mr Salleh started the day with prayers at Kampung Siglap Mosque with his family, and they later enjoyed a lunch of lontong and rendang with relatives.

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

In a Facebook post later, she said she joined Darul Aman Mosque chairman Abdul Rahim to distribute meat from korban livestock to underprivileged people.

"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.

All three hopefuls are waiting for confirmation on whether they qualify to run.The Presidential Elections Committee has until Sept 12, the eve of Nomination Day, to decide who qualifies.

New rules have also been introduced for the 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 about himself. He also said he is glad none of the aspiring candidates has launched personal attacks on one another.

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."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 02, 2017, with the headline 'Presidential hopefuls celebrate Hari Raya Haji'. Print Edition | Subscribe