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Second of three presidential hopefuls Farid Khan submits election forms

SINGAPORE — The chairman of marine services provider Bourbon Offshore Asia Pacific, Mr Farid Khan, on Thursday (Aug 24) became the second presidential hopeful to submit his application forms to contest the upcoming election, which is reserved for Malays.

Second of three presidential hopefuls Farid Khan submits election forms

Chairman of marine services provider Bourbon Offshore Asia Pacific, Mr Farid Khan Kaim Khan, submitting his papers at the Elections Department. Photo: Najeer Yusof/TODAY

SINGAPORE — The chairman of marine services provider Bourbon Offshore Asia Pacific, Mr Farid Khan, on Thursday (Aug 24) became the second presidential hopeful to submit his application forms to contest the upcoming election, which is reserved for Malays.

Speaking to reporters after making his submission, the 62-year-old said that he was prepared for any contest, and hoped that it would be a fair one. But should there be a walkover, Mr Farid said that he and “a lot of other people will be disappointed”.

“But I’m quite confident there will be a contest,” said Mr Farid, adding that he will share more details of his campaign once his candidacy has been confirmed. “I’m doing this for my country. No regrets.”

Arriving at the Elections Department (ELD) building at Prinsep Link at about 10.30am in a black Mercedes-Benz, Mr Farid was accompanied by four members of his campaign team, who carried five thick files containing forms for the certificate of eligibility and community certificate, and other accompanying documents.

On Wednesday, Mr Mohamed Salleh Marican, 67, who is the chief executive of Second Chance Properties, became the first among the three presidential hopefuls to submit  his forms to the ELD.

The third potential contender, former Speaker of Parliament Halimah Yacob, had told TODAY that she would submit hers “in due course”, without specifying when.

As potential candidates were preparing to submit their applications, the Court of Appeal on Wednesday dismissed a legal challenge filed by former presidential candidate Dr Tan Cheng Bock, who had contested the basis and timing of next month’s reserved presidential election.

The end to the legal challenge has paved the way for the writ of election for the presidency to be issued.  Once this happens, prospective candidates have up to five days from the time the writ is issued to submit their application forms. The writ will state the nomination date and place.

Both successful and unsuccessful applicants will be informed of the outcome of their applications before nomination day.

Mr Farid, who first announced his intention to contest the presidential election in July, had said that he would champion issues such as strengthening the trust among people of all races and religions, and helping needy and troubled youth.

However, Mr Farid must first clear several hurdles before he can qualify for the presidential race.

Among other things, his Singapore-based firm does not have at least S$500 million in shareholders’ equity, one of the eligibility criteria required for private-sector candidates. 

However, the Presidential Elections Committee has the discretion to certify that a candidate who does not meet such a criterion can stand for election.

Another issue Mr Farid has to grapple with is whether he is “Malay enough”, given that the “Malayness” of all three presidential hopefuls has come under the spotlight in recent months.

Mr Farid’s race is stated as “Pakistani” on his identity card, while Mdm Halimah’s father is Indian-Muslim. Mr Marican, who is of Indian descent, has also been criticised by some members of the public for his lack of fluency in the Malay language.

To qualify for the reserved election, prospective 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 a sub-committee to decide if the candidate belongs to the community.

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