Tan Cheng Bock: ‘Disappointed’ by dismissal of appeal on Presidential Election

Photo of Tan Cheng Bock: Yahoo News Singapore
Photo of Tan Cheng Bock: Yahoo News Singapore

Former presidential candidate Tan Cheng Bock said on Wednesday (22 August) that he and his supporters were disappointed that the Court of Appeal has dismissed his appeal on the timing of this year’s Presidential Election.

“Some may say that my court application was a fool’s errand. But I do not see it that way,” said Tan in a post on his Facebook page.

Earlier Wednesday, the Court of Appeal upheld the High Court’s ruling in dismissing Tan’s constitutional challenge on the presidential election, which is reserved for Malay candidates.

Last year, Parliament approved constitutional amendments to allow for a presidential election to be reserved for a particular racial group that has not been represented in the office for five consecutive terms. The term count starts from the late Wee Kim Wee, according to the government, as he was the first to wield the powers of an Elected President.

Tan, who narrowly lost in the 2011 Presidential Election, argued that the term count should start from the late Ong Teng Cheong as Wee was not elected by a popular vote.

The Apex Court agreed with the High Court that there is nothing in the text or textual context which limits Parliament’s power by requiring Parliament to start the term count from the term of office of a popularly elected President.

Tan said in his Facebook post that his legal challenge came about after Workers’ Party MP Sylvia Lim had questioned in Parliament about the term count beginning with Wee, and the Government challenged her to go to court for an answer.

“That is wrong and I felt the need to respond. I firmly believe the Government should have answered in Parliament instead of challenging a Parliamentarian to go to Court,” Tan added.

While Tan accepted the verdict with “a heavy heart”, he said that he would continue to speak up for Singaporeans.