Photo of Lee Hsien Loong from Xabryna Kek CNA

Singapore’s dictator Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong is targeting to use election walkover to indirectly appoint the next President of his choice.

To achieve a puppet president, the Prime Minister shifted the goal post of the election eligibility by excluding the majority Chinese race, and narrowing it down to the minority Malay race. As if that is not enough, PM Lee Hsien Loong went a step further to ensure he gets his puppet by increasing the qualification criteria such that only a small handful of ultra elites be selected.

New presidential qualification requires candidates to be senior executives of private companies with S$500 million in shareholders’ equity. Only 0.23% of Singapore-incorporated companies qualify and most of them are state-owned corporations like NTUC and Temasek Holdings. To make it even harder, the candidate must have held onto the position for at least 6 years. The number eligible to be presidential candidate hence naturally dwindles further as the election is reserved only for the Malay race.

Such near-impossible conditions for an election is a world-first as other democracies demand only people without a criminal conviction to run for their presidential post.

All these calculated moves are part of the dictator Prime Minister’s plan to control the President. PM Lee Hsien Loong not only controls the Parliament with his single ruling party system, he controls the country’s only two sovereign wealth fund companies – GIC, where himself is Chairman, and Temasek Holdings, where his wife Ho Ching is CEO.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong now knows how much he can invest, how much he can access and where he can invest the country’s coffers, or simply put, all 3 keys to the National Reserves. He is now undisputedly the most powerful man in Singapore.

What’s perplexing however is some are actually asking if meritocracy took a backseat when the election changes are proposed. Nobody questioned about Meritocracy when the son of former dictator Lee Kuan Yew became Prime Minister and GIC Chairman, and his wife the CEO of Temasek Holdings.

Meritocracy is never a fundamental of Singapore leadership, no matter how much they claimed it to be. Singapore is currently undergoing a recession but the economy is low on the dictator’s priority at the moment as he tries to revamp the country’s political system to ensure he is forever in power.