Panel to assess eligibility of Malay EP candidates unveiled

Panel to assess eligibility of Malay EP candidates unveiled
Public Service Commission (PSC) chairman Eddie Teo. Photo:
Published: 5:00 PM, May 31, 2017
Updated: 12:24 AM, June 1, 2017

SINGAPORE – The five-member panel tasked with assessing whether prospective presidential candidates belong to the Malay race was unveiled on Wednesday (May 31).

Mr Imram Mohamed, the former chairman of the Association of Muslim Professionals, will chair the sub-committee. Other members are Madam Fatimah Azimullah, an adviser to the Singapore Muslim Women’s Association; Mr Mohammad Alami Musa, president of the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis) council;  former senior parliamentary secretary Yatiman Yusof;  and former Nominated Member of Parliament Zulkifli Baharudin.

The Malay community sub-committee is part of the 16-member Community Committee, which will be led by Mr Timothy James de Souza, who also sits on the Presidential Council for Minority Rights, the Elections Department (ELD) said on Wednesday.

The Chinese community sub-committee will be chaired by Mr Patrick Lee Kwok Kie, managing director of Sing Lun Holdings. 

The sub-committee for Indians and other minorities will be chaired by Mr K Kesavapany, who was the former High Commissioner to Malaysia. 

The ELD also announced that the Presidential Elections Committee will be chaired by the Public Service Commission (PSC) chairman Eddie Teo. 

Prospective candidates for the upcoming presidential race — the first Presidential Election reserved for Malay candidates — will have to apply for the certificate of eligibility from the Presidential Elections Committee.

At the same time, these candidates will also have to submit a community declaration to the Community Committee to certify their ethnic group.

A fact-finding process will be conducted by the respective sub-committee to decide if the candidate belongs to the community, and may require the person to provide further information and to be interviewed, among other things. 

If the relevant sub-committee agrees, the candidate will be issued a community certificate. Otherwise, the candidate will receive a notice of rejection.

Speaking to TODAY, Mr Yatiman, who is also a former Member of Parliament, said that he was honoured to be made a member of the Malay sub-committee.

The committee has been given guidelines, and its members will decide collectively on whether to issue a community certificate to an applicant, he added.