Huh, guess nobody else wants to be the president of Singapore.
Oh, wait, one of the requirements is to have 3 years prior experience in being a high-tier goverment official or a big company CEO. How is that democratic and not an oligarchy, again?
Singaporean here. The anger isn't over the fact that our president was elected without a vote (she likely would have gotten it anyway) but the election process as a whole.
While conceding that Singapore does have a system of illiberal democracy, this is the first time that the incumbent party has undermined the elections process so as to block off a presidential candidate.
The fact that the elections process was reserved only for the Malay race limited the number of potential candidates significantly and is contrary to the spirit of meritocracy.
The Singapore government write the rules so they can entrench their stooges into key positions without any opposition. It is "their brand" of (almost) democracy. It's fine when it's fine, (sort of...) but it's not fine when the benevolent dictators are out and the other less benevolent dictators are in power.
Key sections from the article (all emphasis is mine):
> Halimah Yacob, a former speaker of parliament from the Muslim Malay minority, **did not have to face an election for the largely ceremonial post after authorities decided her rivals did not meet strict eligibility criteria.**
> **It was not the first time** in the affluent city-state – which is tightly controlled and has been ruled by the same party for decades – **that the government has disqualified candidates for the presidency, making an election unnecessary.**
> **But there had already been criticism of the process as it was the first time the presidency had been reserved for a particular ethnic group** – in this case the Malay community – and the decision to hand her the job without a vote added to anger.
Just FYI for those who are unaware, The "President" role in Singapore is mostly ceremonial. The Prime Minister position is the role with all the power. Not saying there shouldn't be an election for this, but that it wouldn't really matter much anyway in the grand scheme of things. They normally choose a "President" from a different one of the three main different races in Singapore every term.
Edit: I perhaps worded the last part wrongly. I didn't mean that it has always been a law that Singapore choses a president from a different ethnicity (It is a rule since 2016). Just that it has generally been a trend since the first president, Yusuf Ishak to have different ethnicities represent as President and not one ethnic representative continuously across many terms. This because majority of the Presidents of Singapore so far were not elected but chosen by the Parliament.
yeah, well, since when is Singapore a democracy.
The non-elected President actually has the gall to say:
>"Every woman can aspire to the highest office of the land if you have the courage, determination and will to work hard," she told a cheering crowd of supporters. "This shows that multi-racialism is not just a slogan, something good for us to say or hear. It means it really works in our society that everyone has the chance to (make it to) the highest office of the land."
This is the direct opposite of the truth. What a slap to multi-racialism, meritocracy and democracy.
The most ironic thing is that this completely goes against the national pledge where citizens pledge for meritocracy regardless of race or religion.
> We, the citizens of Singapore, pledge ourselves as one united people, regardless of race, language or religion, to build a **democratic society**...
This is in their pledge, let that sink in.