Presidential election: only one certificate of eligibility issued

Singapore Set to Have First Female President In Its History

Singapore Set to Have First Female President In Its History

DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng has lauded the impending appointment of PAP's Halimah Yacob as the eighth president of Singapore, hailing her achievement as a significant milestone for women as well as Malay-Muslims.

Speaking to reporters briefly outside the Elections Department on Monday (11 September), the former Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC Member of Parliament was asked if she was anxious about public perception since she would not have to fight an election.

Under election rules, potential candidates must either have served in public office, headed a government-linked organisation, or headed a company worth at least Sg$500 million (US$370 million) in shareholder equity. Since she has no opponent, there will be no election. She resigned from that post in August.

The election, which had been scheduled for September 23, will no longer be held and Yacob is expected to be formally declared the victor on Wednesday. She is to take office at a later date.

"Obviously there is work that I have to do, but the most important thing for me is I would like Singaporeans to work together with me", she said, according to Channel News Asia.

The presidency is largely a ceremonial position.

Aiming to strengthen a sense of inclusivity in the multicultural country, Singapore had decreed the presidency would be reserved for candidates from the Malay community this time.

What should be a moment of celebration - Halimah will be Singapore's first female president - has proved contentious for several reasons and appears at odds with Singapore's reputation as a technocratic and efficient city state. However, the Government has asserted that, in a real world, race might play a decisive part - especially in a close race - and thus deny minorities the chance to serve as president from time to time, in accordance with the tenets of multiracialism laid down by the nation's founders.

Singaporeans on Tuesday poured scorn on the process to select their new president, an establishment figure, deemed the only eligible candidate, meaning no election will be held.

The city-state has a population of 5.6 million.

Ethnically, Singapore is 74 percent Chinese, 13 percent Malay, 9 percent Indian and 3.2 percent are classified as "other".

"One of these days, an incident will happen". That meant that this year's election was reserved for someone from Singapore's minority Malay community.

Tan, a former deputy prime minister, was elected in a tight race in 2011.

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