Sipping a latte at Shangrila Makati, he reflected on how an American colleague accurately described the failings of his countrymen. The American had said they behave like crabs in a basket. The moment one manages to climb to the top of the pile, the others pull him down. The analogy is not lost here, seeing how the Tans sling mud at their own clansmen.
The joke is on them.
The elected president's "powerful" veto, be it exercised in connection with reserves or key appointments, can be easily be neutered by the non-elected 6-member Council of Presidential Advisers (CPA). Each and every one appointed by the sitting Government, waiting to twist in the dagger it with a mere two-thirds vote in Parliament. Even if the president has the heart to save a soul from the death row, the Constitution, as it still stands, stipulates he must act in accordance with the advice of the Cabinet. They want only the battery operated pacemaker, not the flesh and blood version.
The rare instance of where the president has some semblance of power is when he gets to over rule the Cabinet should it disagree with an ISA decision to release a detainee. Dr Lim Hock Siew must be ROTFL on this one. Hell will surely freeze over before the ISA advisory board unlocks the cell door without first eliciting an induced confession to the satisfaction of the "main culprit". Just ask Dr Lim.
In the end, the elected president's...
.... but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,