3.8.05

Heng again?

The newspapers confirmed that Mr Stephen Ooi Boon Ewe has decided to run for the Singapore presidency yet again:

Channel News Asia online, 2 August 2005
The Elections Department has received a third application form for the certificate of eligibility for the Presidential Election.

It was submitted by 64-year-old Mr Ooi Boon Ewe who had failed to qualify for an eligibility certificate during the 1999 Presidential Election [...] Mr Ooi told Channel NewsAsia earlier that he still does not meet the strict criteria to run for the office.


But Mr Ooi would have the benefit of experience this time, when he receives the confirmation that he has failed to meet the eligibility criteria for th race:
South China Morning Post, 9 August 1999
Career diplomat S. R. Nathan, a man at the centre of numerous spats with neighbouring Malaysia over the years, looks set to become the next president without a single vote being cast.

Two rivals submitted applications to run for the presidency by Saturday's deadline, but both are expected to be ruled ineligible before campaigning even begins.

They are veteran opposition figure and insurance agent Tan Soo Phuan, the little-known leader of the little-known Singapore Democratic Progressive Party, and private tutor Ooi Boon Ewe, a man even more obscure in politics.

Political analyst Ooi Giok Ling said: "The screening criteria are very rigorous and these two men are not likely to qualify."

The Presidential Elections Committee will only issue eligibility certificates to applicants who fulfil strict criteria, such as having held high public office or headed a S$100 million company.

Neither Mr Tan, 63, and Mr Ooi, 58, come anywhere close to qualifying and are expected to forfeit their S$30,000 deposits. -

His presidential ambitions thwarted in 1999, a quick google search revealed that Mr Ooi had also ran in the 2001 General Elections against Mr Chan Soo Sen for Joo Chiat. By then, he had become a property executive, and was no longer a private tutor (I wonder what he had declared as his profession this time round?). The same search also revealed (from an online dictionary of Singlish/Singapore English, under the entry for heng!) that although he did not emerge the winner in 2001, Mr Ooi knew he had the good fortune to garner 16.5% of Joo Chiat's votes and recover his $13,000 deposit:
The Straits Times, 4 November, 2001
An excited Mr Ooi Boon Ewe was at Temasek Primary principal counting centre for Joo Chiat… The independent candidate went there alone even before polls closed… He got his $13,000 deposit back as he polled 16.5 per cent of the vote. ‘Get back money — heng ah!’ he exclaimed…

Did Mr Stephen Ooi not learn from1999? Did he think he would be second, third time heng?

Always the Winner!
number one small
Or perhaps, Mr Ooi is trying to say that it is not important to win the race everytime? not even important to qualify for the race? But rather it is important to ask (again) those questions some of us might have at the back of our minds - why should there be "eligibility criteria" for those running for President? Does a CEO of a $100million company understand any better the responsibility of holding the emergency key to the nation's coffers? who should decide what are the desirable qualities for a President? Is it you? What do you think?

This man is a mystery, amongst other things.

2 comments:

wahj said...

That drawing sums up the experience of so many children in Singapore. I like this picture a lot: if you ever make a poster, or T-shirt out of it, tell me and I'll buy one!

ampulets said...

Sure! Got it as a digital image so will try printing it as a A2 poster at Bras Basah soon.

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