By Safhras Khan and Nicholas Yong
Farid Khan Kaim Khan, the chairman of Bourbon Offshore Asia Pacific, has announced his bid for the upcoming Presidential Election (PE).
Speaking in English and Malay at a press conference held at the Village Hotel Changi on Tuesday (11 July), Farid said he wished to “serve the nation” and felt “capable of doing so to the best of my knowledge and ability”.
“All my life I have been facing challenges, and this is one of the most exciting challenges I am going to go through,” said the 62-year-old.
This year’s PE, which is due in September, has been reserved for Malay candidates following amendments made to the Presidential Elections Act earlier this year.
“I am of Pakistani descent and my wife is of Arabic descent. Yet, our family and relatives do speak Malay and practise the Malay culture. So I am part of the Malay community,” he said.
In his speech, Farid said he was concerned with the “growing threat of radicalism” and that, if elected, he would work closely with the government and various groups to “resolve this issue”.
He also cited wanting to strengthen the “trust among the people regardless of race and religion”, “helping the needy, including our troubled youth” and “creating more opportunities” to enhance Singapore’s prosperity as motivating factors for his presidential bid.
Farid, who is married to Naeemah Shaikh Abu Bakar, 61, and has two children, has been working at the Singapore-based Bourbon Offshore Asia Pacific for more than 10 years. The company employs about 800 workers in the region.
Regarding the PE criteria that requires candidates to have run a company with at least $500 million in shareholders’ equity, on average, for the most recent three financial years, Farid said he felt confident of qualifying in this area.
He added that his career experience – which includes dealing with people and making high-level decisions – also makes him a good candidate for president.
Farid is the second candidate to have announced a bid for the presidency. Second Chance Properties founder and CEO Mohd Salleh Marican, 67, said on 31 May that he planned to run for President.