SINGAPORE: Second Chance CEO Mohamed Salleh Marican's application for the Presidential Election was rejected as the shareholder's equity of his firm was "considerably lower" than the minimum required.
The decision and reasons were in a letter issued to Mr Marican by the Presidential Elections Committee seen by Channel NewsAsia on Monday (Sep 11).
Under revised rules for the Elected Presidency, a candidate from the private sector has to have managed a company with a minimum shareholder equity of S$500 million.
That of clothing retailer Second Chance averaged S$258 million for the last three years.
The Committee "could not satisfy itself" that Mr Marican had the experience and ability comparable to the chief executive of a typical company with a shareholder equity of $500 million, the letter said.
"I BELIEVE IN SECOND CHANCES"
Shortly after his application was turned down, Mr Marican told the media he felt "sad and very disappointed". "But it was in a way not really unexpected," he said.
"All these weeks, I was feeling confident except on Friday when they had this IPS forum and what was said during the forum clearly gave hints that there is likely to be a walkover," he added. “What Minister Chan Chun Sing said was very clear - that they cannot lower the standards.”
He added that the Presidential Elections Committee has made it clear that the result was final, and that there was "no such thing as an appeal".
Mr Salleh added that he knew he did not make the S$500 million criteria and could be disqualified.
He stood by his earlier assertion that he could run a S$500 million company. "If a person like me can run a S$250 million company, I can easily run a S$500 million company. The thinking process is the same.
“If I want to evaluate whether a S$250 million property is a good buy versus a S$500 million property, I go through the same process," he said.
Moving forward, Mr Marican said he would overcome the disappointment and continue life as before.
“I have been disappointed many times in my life, especially in business, so I’m used to disappointment. I will continue to serve my country in other ways.”
Mr Marican also did not rule out running for President again.
"I will continue to run my business, and I hope to grow it," he said. "If I can make the S$500 million criteria in six years’ time, I will try again.
"I believe in second chances, and I will give myself a second chance."