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First of three presidential hopefuls Salleh Marican submits election forms

SINGAPORE — Presidential hopeful Mohamed Salleh Marican has submitted his application forms to contest the upcoming reserved presidential election, becoming the first among three potential candidates to do so.

First of three presidential hopefuls Salleh Marican submits election forms

Mr Marican and his wife, Madam Sapiyah Abu Bakar, submitting his application forms for the upcoming Presidential Elections at the Elections Department building on Wednesday (Aug 23). Photo: Nuria Ling/TODAY

SINGAPORE — Presidential hopeful Mohamed Salleh Marican has submitted his application forms to contest the upcoming reserved presidential election, becoming the first among three potential candidates to do so.

Accompanied by members of his campaign team, the 67-year-old turned up at the Elections Department (ELD) building at Prinsep Link at about 3.30pm on Wednesday (Aug 23) to hand in the relevant documents.

Two other potential contenders — Mr Farid Khan Kaim Khan and Madam Halimah Yacob — are expected to submit their forms in the coming days.

Mr Farid, the 62-year-old chairman of marine service provider Bourbon Offshore Asia Pacific, has said that he will submit his papers on Thursday morning. 

Mdm Halimah, 62, the former Speaker of Parliament, told TODAY that she would submit her forms “in due course”.

The three hopefuls have to be certified eligible by the Presidential Elections Committee before they can be officially declared as candidates for next month’s Presidential Election, which has been reserved for the Malay community.

Speaking to reporters after submitting his documents, Mr Marican, who is the chief executive of Second Chance Properties, expressed hope that there would be a contest, as Singaporeans “will be satisfied that they have a chance to choose their next president”.

“If there is no contest, I believe I will be very disappointed and I believe all of Singapore will be disappointed also,” he added.

Under the amended Elected Presidency scheme, a prospective candidate from the private sector must have served as chief executive of a company with at least S$500 million in shareholder equity for at least three years, among other requirements.

Mr Marican does not automatically qualify under this criterion as his firm had equity of between S$254.3 million and S$263.25 million over the past three financial years. However, the Presidential Elections Committee has the discretion to certify that a candidate who does not meet such a criterion can stand for election.

Even though his firm did not meet the threshold, Mr Marican said on Wednesday that he believed that he could “easily manage” a company with S$500 million in shareholders’ equity. 

He had earlier arrived at the ELD building in a white BMW SUV with his wife, Madam Sapiyah Abu Bakar, 65. The couple were all smiles as they greeted about 20 members of his campaign team and supporters, some of whom have done business with him for decades.

His younger brother, Mr Hasan Marican, 60, was seen carrying a small box containing forms for the certificate of eligibility and community certificate, and other accompanying documents. 

As the upcoming election is reserved for the Malay community, 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. 

Once the writ of election for the presidency is issued, prospective candidates have up to five days from that date to submit their application forms. The writ will state the nomination date and the nomination place.

An ELD spokesperson said both successful and unsuccessful applicants will be informed of the outcome of their applications before nomination day.

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