PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION 1993
This was the first time the President of Singapore would be elected the people. Aspiring candidates had to fulfill very stringent criteria of, among others, having served for a minimum of three years as a minister, high-ranking civil servant or executive post in a company with a paid-up capital of at least $100 million, before he is granted a Certificate of Eligibility by the Presidential Elections Committee. The deposit would be three times the amount required for a candidate in a Parliamentary election. Former Deputy Prime Minister and PAP chairman Ong Teng Cheong was pitted against a non-partisan candidate, former Accountant-General Chua Kim Yeow. Ong resigned from PAP to fulfill the requirements of Presidential Election laws but received the PAP government's endorsement, with Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong, Senior Minister Lee Kuan Yew and several PAP ministers supporting him. Two ministers with financial background, Dr Tony Tan and Dr Richard Hu, along with several PAP backbenchers and some opposition leaders, backed the former civil servant Chua. WP chief J. B. Jeyaretnam and member Tan Soo Phuan submitted applications 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 prevent a walkover but withdrew his application after Chua offered himself. In the end, Ong won and became Singapore's fifth President, albeit with a lower-than-expected share of the votes. 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
ONG Teng Cheong wins by margin of 282,155 (17.4%)
Valid votes: 1,622,871 (97.8%)
Rejected votes: 36,611 (2.2%)