Ho Ching penned a Facebook post talking about the role of presidential elections in Singapore. I would like to respectfully offer a different perspective on the role of the elected presidency.
President SHOULD be a check on the government
While I agree that the primary role of the president is to serve as a head of state and a symbol of unity for our nation, I believe that the role should not be limited to merely that. The president, in my opinion, should also act as a check on the government and be an independent voice for the people.
You mentioned that the election is primarily held to safeguard our reserves and the integrity of our institutions. These are indeed important. However, it is equally crucial to have a president who can represent the concerns and aspirations of the people. The people also need their voices heard and their rights protected.
Voters are looking for responsible and accountable leadership.
Contrary to the notion that the electorate simply desires a spendthrift government, I believe that voters are looking for responsible and accountable leadership. We want a government that can strike a balance between prudent fiscal management and addressing the needs and aspirations of the people. It is not about freebies or handouts but about ensuring a fair and inclusive society for all.
While I appreciate your reference to the Swiss society and their rejection of unsustainable policies, it is important to remember that every nation is unique, with its own set of challenges and priorities. We should strive to learn from successful models around the world but also adapt them to our specific context.
Ho Ching, you are wrong about this.
The presidency, although not a political role in a parliamentary system, should still have the capacity to advocate for the interests of the people, foster inclusivity, and promote national unity. It should be a position that upholds the principles of integrity, transparency, and accountability. These are crucial for a healthy democracy.
I believe that the presidency should encompass both the symbolic and political aspects. The president should as a unifying figure for the nation while also ensuring that the government remains accountable to the people. This is not about undermining institutional integrity. Rather, it is about enhancing the democratic process and fostering a system where all voices are heard.