Those Singaporeans who may have nurtured a faint hope of seeing someone from any of the minority races take on the mantle of Prime Minister someday can forget it now.
In a true multiracial, meritocratic country, a debate on whether Singapore should have a minority-race President from time to time ought to be logically out of place.
The fact that the Constitutional Commission is debating just that demonstrates:
- The Chinese-majority country is unlikely to accept anyone from any other race as PM, no matter what their credentials are.
- The post of President is just an ornamental one that can be used to pacify the minorities and present some semblance of multiracialism.
Quotas Not Needed to Keep Races Happy: Singapore is not a Third-World country that needs some quotas to keep the different races happy.
It is the most deserving who should occupy the two posts and any pre-requisite for any of them is regressive. There is no harm in both the posts being held by those from the same community as long as they harbour no racial prejudices.
Once there is consensus on a minority President then the Commission may start to think of having the post of President a rotational one – starting with a Malay followed by an Indian and Eurasian! That is how divisive and silly it will get!
If meritocracy is what Singaporeans have to abide by there should be no different yardstick for its leadership.
G Joslin Vethakumar