During his tenure, President Ong Teng Cheong locked horns with the PAP government over the sale of Post Office Savings Bank to the Development Bank of Singapore and information on the reserves, which the government said it would take 56 man-years to compile. Close to the end of his term, the Cabinet led by Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong said it would not support President Ong for another term, citing his poor health as the reason. Instead, they endorsed S. R. Nathan, who happened to be of Indian descent and this could keep the President's office rotated among different ethnic groups. President Ong himself also agreed, through a press conference, not to seek another term. Private tutor Ooi Boon Ewe applied for the Certificate of Eligibility but the Presidential Elections Committee ruled him not qualfied. Also unsuccessful, for a second time, was Tan Soo Phuan, now DPP chairman. Nathan was the sole candidate granted the certificate to file his nomination and the election ended with a no contest, prompting some political critics to label the exercise as a "Presidential (s)election". Polling day, originally scheduled on 28 August 1999, did not take place.

Writ of election: 4 August 1999 [Wed]
Nomination day: 18 August 1999 [Wed]
President swearing-in: 1 September 1999 [Wed]

Electorate: 1,967,984

Election deposit: $30,000 (+$12,000)

Sellapan Rama NATHAN, 75

Ambassador-At-Large [M]