Salleh Marican is the 62-year-old chief executive officer of Second Chance Properties, who is giving his best shot at becoming the next President of Singapore.
But the first qualifying criteria of having a company with at least S$500 million shareholder equity stands in his way.
Salleh Marican’s company’s shareholder equity registered between S$254.3 million and S$263.25 million over the last three financial years, which falls short of the S$500 million, but he could have passed if he had run for election against the Tan Tan Tan Tans when the criteria was just S$100 million.
Yet Salleh has said that he is “optimistic” about convincing the Presidential Elections Committee (PEC) that he is a deserving candidate.
Here are some possible reasons to consider giving Salleh Marican a second chance.
1. Salleh Marican set up the first Malay-owned company listed on the SGX
He was the first Malay entrepreneur to set up the first company owned by a Malay to be listed on the Singapore Exchange.
2. He won a Berita Harian Award
In 2011, he won the prestigious Berita Harian Achiever of the Year Award.
This award honours Malay/Muslim individuals for their achievements in their chosen fields, and based on their qualities such as perseverance, determination, the ability to overcome odds and integrity.
Most importantly, the winner must be a role model for the Malay/Muslim community in Singapore.
3. He knew he would run for Presidency one day
In 1992, Salleh diversified into Malay lady readymade wear, First Lady. Maybe he was planning for his wife to also be the First Lady of Singapore one day.
4. He donated a lot of money to charity
Salleh Marican has been a regular contributor to the Tabung Amal Aidilfitri (TAA) Charity fund, contributing hundreds of thousands of dollars to help needy Malay/Muslim families.
5. He is reskilling to reconnect with his mother tongue
After being trolled for poor Malay conversational skills, Salleh is taking lessons from a Malay newspaper and television media veteran to brush up his command of Malay.
Nevertheless, all the reasons above are moot if Salleh Marican does not get a concession to overcome the S$500 million criteria.
Should the S$500 million criteria stay as a benchmark of meritocracy or should we give Salleh Marican a second chance?
Also published on Medium.