Photo of Lee Hsien Loong from Xabryna Kek CNA

The first public forum to seek the views of Singaporeans on the fixing of the upcoming Elected Presidency election was cancelled due to “poor response”, according to the Singapore government. The cancellation was made a day before the event. Law Minister K Shanmugam and Minister of State Chee Hong Tat were supposedly the paperweight for the propaganda monologue.

The “poor response” is however not a surprise as the Singapore government has already published a White Paper, pending only the “wayang approval” of the single-party Parliament. It is also obvious the “forum” is going to be a one-way monologue since public consultation should occur before a decision is finalised in Parliament.

The recent changes of the Elected Presidency is a wish conveyed by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, and few Singaporeans would dare to oppose the dictator Prime Minister openly. Critics of the thin-skinned Prime Minister, especially in a public platform, have resulted in defamation and sedition lawsuits thrown at them.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong introduced the new changes to prevent Dr Tan Cheng Bock from contesting, so he could have a puppet President who will allow him free access to the national reserves like former President SR Nathan and current President Tony Tan did.

With increased stringency on the electoral candidate qualifications (requiring to be the CEO of a company which manged at least S$500 million of shareholders capital) and a specific “reservation” for the Malay race, it is unlikely the next President would be from the private sector. Although Lee Hsien Loong stopped short of cancelling the election, the Singaporean public perceive the election as just a farce.