What One Singaporean Malay Thinks About The Changes in the Elected Presidency. Tokenism?

Since the changes in the Elected Presidency were announced yesterday, there were mixed sentiments about the next presidential candidates having to meet the criteria of being Malay. Here’s what one Singaporean Malay, Khairul Haziq, thinks about the changes and whether it’s really tokenism.

In case you are unable to view his post, here’s the full text below:

Forgive me if there are grammatical errors but this are my thoughts.

As a minority, honestly, I welcome the reservation for minority candidates. As a majority Chinese country, the Chinese have a bigger talent pool making it easier to find Chinese candidates for President.

It is definitely harder to sieve suitable minority candidates if the scope is wider. By making the scope smaller, it is easier to find suitable minority candidates.

Not saying that Singapore is lacking talented minorities but if we were to compare our numbers to the majority, we would definitely be overwhelmed.

Singapore is a multi-racial country and it definitely needs representation of all races once in a while. If we were to stay as normal, it would be harder to find talented minorities as i’ve explained earlier due to our ratio compared to the majority.

Why don’t i view this as Tokenism as some minorities have stated it to be?

Even though the candidates are reseved for a certain race, not any Minority are allowed to be a candidate. There are still criterias to meet, the candidates for President would definitely be capable for the duties.

Instead of finding the most suitable candidates out of all Singaporeans which could mean a Chinese due to the majority of Chinese citizens, the suitable candidates will be picked from a certain race allowing a suitable candidate from that race to be eligible for nomination.

It’s an improved form of meritocracy to ensure minority representation.

I commend the government because they are trying to ensure that the minorities are being represented in the World Stage. As the President is usually a ceremonial role for official visits, it is important to maintain the image of our country as multi-racial and not just a Chinese state.

It is about time that there would be a Malay President, it’s been 46 years and i look forward to this.

In a way also, it is to loosen the racial tensions in our country. Southeast Asia is rilled up with racial differences example would be Malaysia and Indonesia who uses race and religion to split the country apart.

Singaporean Malays are unhappy and it’s a fact because they feel that they are not being represented enough. Minorities do have high positions but if compared to the majority, it is definitely smaller. This is due to our small population compared to the majority.

Thus I believe that, this decision will ensure that all minorities are being represented and that it could also loosen the tension in our Country.


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