1. Following the announcement by the Prime Minister’s Office on 10 February 2016 on the appointment of the Constitutional Commission (“the Commission”) to study and make recommendations on specific aspects of the Elected Presidency, the Commission held its inaugural meeting on 17 February 2016.
2. The Commission hereby seeks feedback from the public, in the form of written submissions, on the following matters which are encapsulated in its terms of reference:
(a) The qualifying process for candidacy for the Elected President, particularly the eligibility criteria for such candidates, and whether the existing provisions in these areas are adequate, taking into account:
i) The President’s custodial role in safeguarding our financial reserves and the integrity of our public service; and
ii) The need to ensure that those eligible for candidacy are individuals of character and standing, who possess the experience and ability to discharge these duties and responsibilities of Presidential office with dignity and distinction.
(b) What provisions should be made to safeguard minority representation in the Presidency, taking into account:
i) The President’s status as a unifying figure that represents multi-racial Singapore; and
ii) The need to ensure that candidates from minority races have fair and adequate opportunity to be elected to Presidential office.
(c) The framework governing the exercise of the President’s custodial powers, particularly the role and composition of the Council of Presidential Advisers (“the CPA”), and whether the existing provisions in these areas are adequate, taking into account:
i) The custodial powers that the President is entrusted with, and the CPA’s central function as an independent body to counsel and advise the President on the exercise of his powers; and
ii) The need to safeguard our financial reserves and the integrity of our public service, and ensure that decisions in these areas are made with the support of careful consideration given by a group of persons with substantial suitable experience in the public and private sectors.
3. The Constitutional provisions pertaining to the Elected President, including the qualifying criteria for candidates and the functions of the CPA, can be found in the “statutes online” website at http://statutes.agc.gov.sg.
4. Written submissions must be addressed to the Constitutional Commission Secretariat, either by way of email to CCSecretariat@supcourt.gov.sg, or by way of post to 1 Supreme Court Lane, Singapore 178879. Further instructions on the sending of written submissions are appended below.
5. All written submissions must reach the Secretariat by 5pm on 21 March 2016.
6. Where the Commission considers it necessary to obtain clarification or elaboration on any written submission, it may, at its sole discretion, invite the contributor to make oral representations at public hearings. The precise dates of the public hearings will be announced in due course, but these will likely take place over a limited number of days between 18 April and 15 May 2016.