05 October 2017
Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam has said that it is understandable that questions have been raised about the recent presidential election, and that it is encouraging that people feel race should matter less in the future.
Mr Tharman was speaking at a dialogue session held at Nanyang Technological University. Around 1500 students and members of the public attended.
Mr Tharman also said that he himself would have also preferred a contest, but that the aspiration for race not to count is something that requires more work.
Referring to the national pledge, he said, “It cannot just be a pledge, it cannot be just an incantation. Sometimes it requires a conscious act of the state.”
Mr Tharman also cited an editorial by Malaysian publication Mingguan Malaysia, on how it was unimaginable that Singapore had a Malay president when 75 per cent of its population was Chinese.