PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION 1993
This was the first time that the President, and Singapore's fifth, would be elected the people. This comes after the previous four, namely Yusof Ishak, Benjamin Henry Sheares, C. V. Devan Nair and Wee Kim Wee, were appointed by Parliament. Aspiring candidates had to fulfill stringent criteria of, among others, having served for a minimum of three years as a Cabinet Minister, Speak of Parliament, Chief Justice and other specific high-ranking civil service positions or held an executive post in a company with a paid-up capital of at least $100 million, before he can be granted a Certificate of Eligibility by the Presidential Elections Committee. The deposit was set at three times the amount required for a candidate in a Parliamentary election. Former Deputy Prime Minister and PAP chairman Ong Teng Cheong pitted against former Accountant-General and bank president Chua Kim Yeow, a candidate with no prior partisan credentials. Ong had to resign from PAP to fulfill the requirements of Presidential Election laws that candidates could not be political party members but received the endorsement of his ex-colleagues including Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong, Senior Minister Lee Kuan Yew and several PAP ministers. Two ministers formerly from the financial industry, Dr Tony Tan and Dr Richard Hu, along with several PAP backbenchers and some opposition leaders, backed Chua. WP chief J. B. Jeyaretnam and member Tan Soo Phuan applied for the COE independently of each other and their party but were ruled ineligible. Nominated Member of Parliament Chia Shi Teck also threw his hat in to help avert a walkover but withdrew his application after Chua offered himself. In the end, Ong won albeit with a lower-than-expected share of the votes and the result was cited by the media as example of how a credible "opposition" candidate could pull a significant amount of support away from a ruling party affiliate.
Writ of election: 4 August 1993 [Wed]
Election deposit: $18,000
Winner's majority: 282,155 (17.4%)
Valid votes: 1,622,871 (97.8%)
Rejected votes: 36,611 (2.2%)