The Elected President is not a rubber-stamp
August 21, 2010, 8:34 pm
Filed under: Events light of the High Court’s judgement that the President of Singapore has no authority or discretion in presidential clemency appeals, The Online Citizen (TOC) will be organizing an event at Speakers’ Corner this Sunday, 22 August, at 4pm, with regards to the matter.

TOC – together with lawyer Mr M Ravi – call on President Nathan to convene a Constitutional Tribunal, which the President is empowered to under Article 100 of the Constitution, to ascertain his powers with regards to clemency appeals.

In all past clemencies (whether they were granted or not) Singaporeans have been led to believe that the President indeed had authority or discretion in the matter. In media reports of past clemencies granted, it was clear that this was the case. (Please see here.)

As we previously said in another article, each letter from the President’s principle private secretary rejecting or accepting clemency includes the words: “after due consideration and with the advice of the Cabinet” (emphasis added). The clear implication is that the President has considered, or applied his mind to whether or not to grant clemency.

The High Court’s decision that the President does not have this discretionary authority, however, has brought confusion and uncertainty vis a vis the role of the Elected President as far as Presidential pardons are concerned.

Singaporeans cast their votes every six years for an Elected President with the belief that the Elected President is bestowed with certain powers, including the power to grant presidential pardons.  It is thus important that the powers of the Elected President are not unclear, especially in the granting of Presidential clemencies which involves the taking or sparing of lives.

When a life is taken, it is done in the names of ordinary citizens.

Are you comfortable that the Cabinet, which the courts decided has sole discretion in presidential appeals, is endowed with such powers?

On Sunday, 22 August, we invite Singaporeans to support this call for the President to convene a Constitutional Tribunal through the form of a letter which we will provide.

Details of “The Elected President is not a rubber stamp”:

Date: 22 August, Sunday

Time: 4pm

Venue: Speakers’ Corner (Hong Lim Park), take the train along the NEL and alight at Clark Quay station, Exit “A” which will bring you into the park itself

Speakers: M Ravi (others to be confirmed closer to the day)

Please help us pass this message around and feel free to post on your blogs/websites, Facebook, Twitter, etc.

Thank you and see you on Sunday!


1 Comment so far
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I have an audio recording of the speeches on Sunday.

If there who is very good at cleaning audio files, let me know because someone requested that I put the recording on YT but when I listened to it, part of the quality was terrible and obviously needs some advanced tinkering in Audacity. Unfortunately, I do not have the knowledge of treating terrible audio distortion.

If someone knows how to treat very bad audio distortion, could you please email me at: rojakgirl at gmail dot com?

Thank you very much. =)

Comment by Rojakgirl

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