First Malay woman declared new president-elect of Singapore

Sep 14, 2017, 00:15
First Malay woman declared new president-elect of Singapore

Yacob steps into a presidential role that is largely ceremonial, but as CNN points out, does grant her the power of veto over decisions by government, including public sector appointments.

In her comments on Monday, Halimah said "the process may be reserved, but the president is for everyone, is for all communities regardless of race or religion". But she has seldom spoken publicly on the issue and there is little sign of change in official attitudes. As the country's first female President-elect, her journey has commenced on a promising note, suggesting a bright future and resolved muddles in Singapore's political arena. On Aug. 6, the PAP stalwart announced she would run for president in an already controversial election in which only those of Malay descent were allowed to run.

The announcement of Yacob's "election" was made today at the People's Association headquarters along King George's Avenue. Her mother raised them working at a food stall.

Yet the reserved election has also injured some pride.

"I am a president for everyone", she says, pledging that she will serve without "hesitation or doubt".

However, Yacob's selection was overshadowed by criticism that it was undemocratic to give her the top post without a vote.

Halimah succeeded in pulling through schooling despite the odds and went on to Tanjong Katong Girls' School, eventually graduating from the University of Singapore with a law degree. "One of these days, an incident will happen".

"Whether or not there is an election or no election, my promise is to serve everyone and I will serve with great vigor, with a lot of hard work, with the same passion and commitment". The Parliament also substantially raised the criteria for financial management.

Halimah, who hails from the Muslim Malay minority, is a former speaker of parliament and a prominent establishment figure in Singapore.

"All Singaporeans are unhappy that meritocracy and electoral fairness, core Singaporean values, have been eroded to fulfil perceived political goals", writer and political commentator Sudhir Thomas Vadaketh told AFP. "I think they know how to secure the area".

The youngest of five children, Mdm Halimah had described her childhood as a "terrible struggle" following the death of her Indian-Muslim father and family sole breadwinner.

Singapore's population comprises of 74% Chinese, 13% Malay, 9% Indian and 3.2% "Others", CNN reports.