After considering for weeks, Speaker of Parliament Halimah Yacob confirmed on Sunday (Aug 6) that she will run in next month's Presidential Election. Her residents erupted into cheers, drowning out Halimah Yacob before she could complete her sentence.
Mdm Halimah revealed that she has received much encouragement from Singaporeans from all walks of life who have asked her to stand for election. Though I will miss my residents, my constituency work and my role as Speaker in running for the office of the elected president, my passion to serve all Singaporeans remains unabated.
"I recognise that the position of elected President has the tremendous capacity to do good for all Singaporeans and for Singapore", she reportedly said at a National Day dinner held at the Marsiling Mega Sports Park, here.
"Hence, I wish to inform you that I'll be contesting in the coming presidential election".
This announcement comes after months of prediction that Mdm Halimah is set to become People's Action Party's preferred candidate and after Minister at Prime Minister's Office Chan Chun Sing addressed her in Parliament as "Mdm President".
Halimah added that she will urge the PM to consider sending another adviser to help out, although she did not make any recommendation. Her father passed away when she was eight years old.
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With her long history of public service, she is likely to be backed by a range of groups including unions, social service organisations and women's groups.
A mother of five, Mdm Halimah was also the first Singaporean to be elected into the International Labour Organisation. "As parents, we must nurture our children to have strong values of racial harmony and respect for others". "You'll still see me around, but in a different capacity", she told residents. He told reporters that she was "very capable, works very hard, very experienced". "I think she's the right person", he said.
The upcoming election is reserved for Malay candidates, following changes to the law previous year to ensure the presidency reflects Singapore's multiracial society.
Out of the three people who have announced their plans to contest, Mdm Halimah is the only who fulfills all the boxes of the eligibility criteria.
Said Institute of Policy Studies (IPS) deputy director Gillian Koh: "She will be an outstanding candidate given her many years of public service, her visibility as a political leader and her standing with the union movement as well as support on the ground".
But the Presidential Elections Committee has the discretion to allow a candidate who does not automatically meet the criteria to stand.