Former Speaker Halimah Yacob is set to become Singapore’s first woman President, after the Elections Department (ELD) declared that only one individual has qualified for the inaugural reserved Presidential election. She will also become the second Malay President after Singapore’s first President Yusof Ishak. This year, the Presidential election has been reserved for the members of the Malay community.
Issuing a press statement today, ELD said that among those who submitted the application forms, only one individual received both Certificate of Eligibility and Community Certificates.
Halimah said the ELD issued the certificate of eligibility to her which will pave the way for her to take part in the Presidential Election. She still has to submit her nomination papers on Wednesday.
Talking to reporters gathered at ELD, she said, “I can only say that 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.”
Spokespersons of the other two Malay candidates Farid Khan and Mohamed Salleh Marican have confirmed to Todayonline that their candidatures have been rejected. Farid Khan is the chairman of marine services provider Bourbon Offshore while Marican is the chief executive of Second Chance Properties.
Halimah will become Singapore’s eighth President. The Returning Officer, Energy Market Authority chief executive Ng Wai Choong, will declare her as the elected President on Nomination Day on Wednesday, if her nomination papers are in order. There will be no poll and Halimah will start her presidency from Thursday.
Former President Tony Tan’s six-year term expired on August 31 and Mr J Y Pillay — the chairman of the Council of Presidential Advisers — has been the Acting President since September 1.
Meanwhile, the ELD said the Community Committee issued three Malay Community Certificates while the Presidential Elections Committee (PEC) decided to issue one Certificate of Eligibility.
Notably, following changes made to the Elected Presidency scheme by Parliament last year, the Presidential Election has been reserved for the Malay community. The changes allow for the election to be reserved for a particular ethnicity that has not had an elected representative for five consecutive terms. President Yusof Ishak was Singapore’s first President and the only Malay to have held the office till he died in 1970.