Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam yesterday (Sep 20) defended Halimah Yacob’s battered reputation claiming that the election has to be reserved because Singaporeans are racist and biased against religions during an election. Speaking at a public forum held at government university NTU:
“The reality of the matter is, not just in Singapore, but anywhere else, including the most mature democracies, that everything else being equal, race, ethnicity, religion, matters.”
The Minister also called the Singapore Pledge an “aspiration” and “incantation”:
“It is understandable that questions have been raised about the recent presidential election. It is encouraging that people feel about this, and they want race to matter less in the future. It is encouraging because it shows that we value what we say in our Pledge. I would have also preferred a contest like most people. However that the aspiration for race not to count is something that requires working towards. It cannot just be a pledge, it cannot be just an incantation. Sometimes, it requires a conscious act of the state.”
Minister Tharman however did not explain why Halimah Yacob as an Indian can be “certified” a Malay.
Despite having Halimah Yacob declared the winner of an one-horse race, the controversial President remains a source of unhappiness among Singaporeans. Over 3,000 protested against her presidency in the dictatorship and voices of dissent are getting louder as Halimah Yacob takes the S$1.54 million-a-year puppet head of state role.