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 to obtain a Certficate of Eligibility from the Presidential Elections Committee to contest, such having served for a minimum of three years as a minister, top civil servant, chairman or chief executive of a government or private company with $100 million paid-up capital. Deposit was three times the amount required for a candidate in a Parliamentary election. A former PAP Deputy Prime Minister - Ong Teng Cheong - was pitted against a "non-party" candidate - former Accountant-General Chua Kim Yeow - who sat in the board of several listed companies. Ong had to resign from PAP under Presidential Election laws but was the PAP government's "endorsed" candidate, with Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong, Senior Minister Lee Kuan Yew and several PAP Ministers speaking well of him. Although two other Ministers previously in the finance industry - Dr Tony Tan and Dr Richard Hu - along some PAP backbenchers backed the ex-civil servant Chua, this was still described by political observers as a "PAP versus opposition" contest. Ong won and became Singapore's fifth President but with a lower-than-expected share of the votes and the outcome was perceived by some as an example of how a credible "opposition" candidate may garner a large chunk of support away from a former key leader of the "omnipotent" ruling party.
Writ of election: 4 August 1993 [Wed]
Total voters: 1,756,517
Election deposit: $18,000
ONG Teng Cheong wins by 282,155 (17.4%) votes
Valid votes: 1,622,871 (97.8%)
Rejected votes: 36,611 (2.2%)