Halimah Yacob Singapore president

Singapore’s First Female President will be Muslim

By e_chaya. [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
By e_chaya. [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Opposition slams presidential nominations

Halimah Yacob is all set to be Singapore’s first female president.[/tweetit] She was the sole candidate to satisfy all the tough conditions set by the Elections Department of Singapore. She will become president-elect after the nominations close on September 13. She will take the oath the next day, September 14.

Singapore’s First Female President will be Muslim[/tweetthis]

Yacob, a Muslim hijabi, will win the presidency without any elections taking place. This has not gone down well with many Singaporeans. Many of them have openly started to criticize the country's electoral process. On September 11, she said that she will do the best when it comes to serving Singaporeans and it does not matter whether an election, or absence of it, has helped her to get there.

Yacob, who is 63 years old, was once the Singapore Parliament speaker. She is also the first in almost 50 years to come from the Malay ethnic community. Her nomination was so one sided that Rio Hoe, a student of law, wrote that by putting her as president, the Singaporean Government affirms that they think in power politics, and not in dignity.

Although the presidential post in Singapore is mostly ceremonial, one of its effective duties is giving power to investigative agencies so that corruption into investigations can begin. The present Singapore Government is headed by Lee Hsien Loong, who is the son of Lee Yuan Yew, the founding Prime Minister of Singapore. The latter died in 2015. Lee is the leader of People's Action Party, the political entity which has administered Singapore from 1959. At present, it controls 83 of 89 Parliament elective seats.

The last few months saw Lee embroiled in disputes with siblings on the subject of whether he abused power as Prime Minister to circumvent the will made by his father. The public spat over his family home has raised a number of questions about benefits of one party rule.

Singapore bans the wearing of a hijab in some public sector jobs.

Halimah's campaign slogan, “Do Good, Do Together” was criticized for being ungrammatical. She, however, defended it by saying that the slogan created a lot of impacts. The Singaporean Government at first narrowed criteria in 2016. The reason behind this rule change is to permit only candidates of ethnic Malay ancestry to become the president. The reason behind this rule is that no Malay ethnic candidates have held to this post anytime during five preceding terms.


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