Halimah Yacob, a previous speaker of parliament from the Muslim Malay minority, did not need to confront a race for the to a great extent stately post initially due in September after experts chose her opponents did not meet strict qualification criteria.
She was the only one of three imminent possibility to get a testament of qualification during the current year’s Presidential Election, which was held for the Malay people group. Two other presidential hopefuls, Mr Mohamed Salleh Marican and Mr Farid Khan, had their applications to remain for the decision turned down on Monday as both did not meet a prerequisite for private-area contender to steerage organizations with in any event S$500 million in investors’ value.
The 63-year-old will be Singapore’s first female President and the main Malay head of state in over 47 years, breaking hindrances once more in the wake of being chosen as the principal female Speaker of Parliament in 2013
THE ROAD TO PRESIDENCY
The youngest of five children, Mdm Halimah was just eight years old when her father, a watchman, died. Her mother became the sole breadwinner, helping out at a food stall before dawn till late at night.
“Her career began in 1978 with the National Trades Union Congress, where she served in various roles for the next three decades, eventually rising to become the labour movement’s deputy secretary-general.
She entered politics at the urging of then-Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong in 2001, and was elected Member of Parliament (MP) for the Jurong Group Representation Constituency (GRC). Ten years later, she was given the portfolio of Minister of State for the then-Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports.
Prior to announcing her intention to run as President last month, Mdm Halimah was serving as both Speaker of Parliament and MP for Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC – both roles she has since relinquished.
Over the years, she has advocated for women’s rights, spoke up on senior citizens and mental health issues, and served as patron to associations such as Club HEAL and PPIS (Singapore Muslim Women’s Association).
Since her bid for presidency was made known, Mdm Halimah has repeatedly denied allegations that she may lack independence due to her close ties to the People’s Action Party.
She also said on Monday that her commitment to serve Singaporeans was not affected by the fact that there is no election.
“I promise to do the best that I can to serve the people of Singapore and that doesn’t change whether there is an election or no election … My passion and commitment to serve the people of Singapore remains the same.
But there was already unease about the process as it was the first time that the presidency had been reserved for a particular ethnic group, in this case the Malay community, and the decision to hand her the job without a vote added to anger.It was not the first time in the affluent city-state — which is tightly controlled and has been ruled by the same party for decades — that the government has disqualified candidates for the presidency, making an election unnecessary.
Social media was abuzz with criticism as Halimah, a 63-year-old who wears a headscarf, was formally announced as the president-elect, with Facebook user Pat Eng writing: “Elected without an election. What a joke.”
“I will call her President Select from now on,” said Joel Kong on the networking site, while some posts were marked with the hashtag NotMyPresident — echoing the message used by upset Americans after the election of President Donald Trump.