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Anything to prevent the slightest transfer of power from the elite to the people

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by Alfian Saat

While it's understandable that discussions of the Halimah Presidency might focus on issues of race, gender and meritocracy, I think that those are the side issues. In fact, this whole debate over Halimah's 'Malayness' is a convenient distraction from the fundamental issues at stake.

One of the things to note is that even though Ong Teng Cheong was elected (58.69% vote share), the subsequent SR Nathan Presidency was a walkover presidency – not once, but twice, in 1999 and 2005. In both cases, a three-member Presidential Elections Committee (PEC) declined to grant eligibility certificates to potential contenders.

It is also worth remembering that the General Elections in 1997 and 2001 were also walkover elections. Things started getting interesting only in 2006, when for the first time since 1988, the People's Action Party (PAP) was not returned to........

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