PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION 1993
This was the first time that the President of Singapore would be elected the people. Aspiring candidates had to fulfill very stringent criteria to obtain a Certificate of Eligibility from the Presidential Elections Committee to contest, one of which was to have 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. 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 the 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 finance background, Dr Tony Tan and Dr Richard Hu, backed the ex-civil servant Chua along with several PAP backbenchers and opposition leaders. WP chief J. B. Jeyaretnam and member Tan Soo Phuan submitted applications independently of each other and the 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 described by the media as example of how a credible "opposition" candidate could swing 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%)