Who can run for President?
Steps in determining a presidential candidate's competency and expertise are scrutinised
It seems only sensible to require a presidential candidate to have the technical competence and expertise to discharge his custodial powers, said the Constitutional Commission in its report.
While agreeing in principle, the Government has decided to adopt a more cautious approach to some of the Commission's suggestions.
Now: Under the automatic track, a candidate in public office must have held office for at least three years as Minister, Chief Justice, Speaker, Attorney-General, Accountant-General or Permanent Secretary
Commission: The offices of Attorney-General and Accountant-General should be removed from the list as they play ancillary and comparatively narrower roles than the other offices listed.
Government: Retain the two offices for now. The Commission's observations raise valid points, but the Government would like to study this and reconsider in the future.
Now: Candidates in both public and private sectors must have served in the qualifying offices for at least three years.
Commission: The duration should be doubled to six years as it takes time to acquire and hone the requisite skills. The length of time one spends in an office can also be an indirect indication of that person's success in discharging the responsibilities of that office.
Government: Retain the qualifying tenure of three years. While it is important that candidates spend adequate time in a qualifying office, it is ultimately a question of balance as to how the precise minimum duration of office is set.
Since it will remain at three years, the applicant can aggregate a maximum of two terms of office, where offices are held within the same sector and each with a period of at least a year.
Now: No provision to ensure relevance of a candidate's qualifying experience.
Commission: A candidate's qualifying tenure should be within 15 years of Nomination Day - a "look back" duration to ensure the currency of his experience.
Government: Extend the "look back" duration to 20 years. The duration is essential, but its length should be approached with caution.
Now: For private sector candidates, $100 million paid-up capital as an indicator of a private company's size and complexity. Commission: Shareholders' equity of $500 million with periodic review to keep up with changes in the economic environment.
This shows that a company is big and complex enough for its heads to have the requisite technical skills, experience and expertise in financial matters to make them suitable candidates.
Shareholders' equity is a better proxy for a company's size and complexity as it reflects its current recorded worth. Government: Yes, but the shareholders' equity should be calculated based on an applicant's three most recent consecutive years in the qualifying office.
The period of assessment should end by the time the writ for the Presidential Election is issued.
Now: No performance criterion for eligible private sector candidates.
Commission: There must have been net profitability throughout the time the applicant held the qualifying office.
The company must not have gone into liquidation or entered any other type of insolvency process within three years of the applicant's cessation as the holder of the qualifying office, or by Nomination Day, whichever is earlier.
This is to ensure a candidate's capability in undertaking the tasks entrusted to the President. The Commission found this criterion unsuitable for public sector candidates.
Government: Yes, but the period of assessment should be pegged to the date the writ for the Presidential Election is issued.
Now: Candidates need to be chairman or chief executive officer of a company to be eligible.
Commission: Replace the terms "chairman" and "chief executive officer" with a general reference such as "the most senior executive position of the statutory board, however that office may be titled" to place emphasis on those who have had practical experience in handling fiscal matters of sufficient size or complexity.
Government: Yes. This will be applied to all Fifth Schedule entities, regardless of whether they are statutory boards or government companies.