Singapore’s 2 Most Relentless Non-Malays Show Determination By Applying For Malay-Only Presidential Election


Shirwin Eu And Ooi Boon Ewe Have Applications For Presidential Election 2017 Rejected

The temptation to give up is a common one. Failure isn’t something many of us can handle gracefully, and even though we know it’s unavoidable, we’re somehow always surprised whenever it happens to us.

Every day is a struggle if you have a negative mindset, when you are wallowing in pity and misery it’s hard to see the good and true potential that is inside you. What separates those who eventually succeed from those who don’t is not the frequency or importance of these failures, but the ability to find insight in them to propel you forward on the journey to your dreams instead.

As we all know, the road to achievement is often paved with failures, pain, and rejections from the Elections Department (ELD).

Source, Source

Which is why we could all learn a thing or two from Singapore’s two most unwavering individuals, Shirwin Eu and Ooi Boon Ewe; who once again applied to run this time in the 2017 Presidential Elections.

Unwavering in the face of adversity 

Not one to let petty details such as the election being reserved solely for Malay candidates get in the way of their goals, these two men have refused to let their dreams of a career in politics fade away.


It was reported by The Straits Times that Mr Eu had applied for a Chinese community certificate, while Mr Ooi declared that he did not consider himself Chinese, Malay, Indian, or part of any other minority communities. Because screw logic.

While it’s pretty much a given that their applications will be rejected by the ELD, one must admire the never-say-die attitude displayed by the private-hire driver and former private tutor.

Let’s take a look at some of the lemons life has thrown at them.

Shirwin Eu

Having first shot to fame during the General Election 2015, he was on the verge of giving MP representative Dr Teo Ho Pin a run for his money when he attempted to run as an independent candidate for the Bukit Panjang SMC.

“I can already feel Dr Teo quaking in his boots.”


Fortunately for the PAP member, Mr Eu was unable to obtain the required six signatures from residents in his applications.

But Mr Eu doesn’t give up just like that. He then offered residents $50 to support his candidacy, before presumably realizing everyone around him were just reporters and not residents.

Venturing up north just one year later, he then stood for Bukit Batok SMC in the 2016 by-elections. Once again however, he was disqualified due to the lack of paper documents, assentors, and $13,500 deposit.

“I may want fame and wealth but at least I’ll never lie to you.”


When questioned by the media on his reasons for attempting, Mr Eu replied that he was in it for the fame and wealth.

At least he would’ve been the most honest politician Singapore had.

Ooi Boon Ewe

Ladies and gentlemen, meet the original Shirwin Eu. Ooi Boon Ewe’s near-2 decade tenure in politics would’ve been the most impressive had he not failed at every single one of them.

Formerly a private tutor and property executive, Mr Ooi’s political conquest began almost 20 years ago in 1999.

Often imitated but never duplicated.


Here are the various elections he’s attempted to/successfully taken part in over the years in chronological order:

  • Presidential Election, 1999
  • General Elections, 2001
  • Presidential Election, 2005
  • General Elections, 2006
  • General Elections, 2011
  • Presidential Election, 2011
  • Punggol East by-election, 2013

Not counting the upcoming contest, that’s a total of 3 Presidential and General Elections each and 1 by-election under his belt.

While his success rate has been a resounding zero, one must certainly applaud his dedication to try not once or twice, but seven times.


It’s pretty impressive that even at the age of 76, Mr Ooi shows no sign of slowing down any time soon.

But for somebody who doesn’t identify as Chinese, he sure has a Chinese-sounding name.


Everyone loves a good underdog story

While these 2 Chinese candidates may not find much success in the upcoming Malay-only election, their determination might perhaps just pay off one day.

With a combined total of 9 attempts and 0 successes, Mr Eu and Mr Ooi are truly the underdogs in the local political scene. And studies have shown that people prefer underdogs to favourites not because they like backing losers, but because they want to see someone beat the odds.

So as they are constantly ridiculed for their efforts which are seen as unrealistic, what do you think of their chances?

Featured images from CNA and 938Live




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