August 18th, 2005

krazy koati

That's our strong, firm belief

And congratulations to S R Nathan, who's returned to a second six-year term of President of Singapore. The election was called off at noon when the official Nomination Day deadline passed, and he was the only candidate to have a Certificate of Eligibility. Three other people had returned applications, but they failed to meet the Presidential Election Committee's review of their qualifications, which include being people of good standing and of having some experience running large organizations.

I really liked the pictures of President Nathan turning in his application for eligibility, which was done at a little office sort of like any freshly-renovated office, complete with the fake-wood-veneer plastic and clear plastic dividers between lines, and those little stairs behind the counter so the clerks have a couple inches on the applicant. It looked like he was paying his Student Bill at the Registrar's Office. The application deposit was, incidentally, S$37,500; I'm curious what happens to his and other people's deposits now the election's done.

I wonder what that office does the other five years, eleven months between elections ... it can't just be for Presidential Nomination Form distribution and collection. President Nathan said he'd have been happy to have an election with competition, but he appreciates the faith so many people put into him.

He had to go to the Nomination Centre -- the old Kallang Airport -- today, about 11 am, and turn in his paperwork alongside an official nominator and witnesses and such. When no other candidates turned up by Noon, he was declared elected, and -- I really liked this -- given a flower lei. He went on to give a speech, including his first public speech in Mandarin, and went out out shaking the hands of supporters, many of whom also gave him flowers or further leis to wear.

Trivia: Robert Benchley suffered his first attack of hay fever at about 6 am, 18 August 1905. Source: ``A Word About Hay Fever,'' Chips off the Old Benchley, Robert Benchley. I bet none of those this-day-in-history pages mention this one.

Currently Reading: Love Conquers All, Robert Benchley.