It’s official: Halimah Yacob is set to be Singapore’s first female president

Singapore’s President-elect Halimah Yacob and her husband Mohammed Abdullah Alhabshee address supporters before leaving the nomination centre on Sept 13, 2017.
Reuters

Singapore has a new president and she’s not only the country’s first female president, she’s also the first Malay head of state in 47 years.

Madam Halimah Yacob, 63, was declared the president-elect on Wednesday (Sept 13) after being confirmed as the sole eligible candidate on Nomination Day, and winning via a walkover.

Addressing the nation at the People’s Association headquarters in Jalan Besar shortly after the announcement, Madam Halimah acknowledged that there have been “some doubts” about the reserved election process, reported The Business Times.

She said: “Although this is a reserved election, I am not a reserved president. I am a president for everyone, regardless of race, language, religion or creed. I represent everyone, and my duty remains only to Singapore and Singaporeans.”

Madam Halimah, who was the former Speaker of Parliament, will be sworn in at the Istana on Thursday to begin her six-year term.

One thing to note: Madam Halimah will also be the first president to live in a Housing Board flat during her term – at least for now, it seems.

Apparently, she has no plans to move out of her family home in Yishun where she has lived at for the past 30 years, reported The Straits Times.

Security officers outside Madam Halimah Yacob’s home in Yishun on Sept 12, 2017.

ST

She said: “It is a very nice, comfortable place and I have been living there for many years.”

Her jumbo flat comprises a four-room and a five-room flat. She and her husband have two sons and three daughters, aged 26 to 35.

As for security arrangements, she said: “I will leave it to the security department. I think they know how to secure the area.”

Perhaps with all the jokes and bad press about Yishun in recent months, her block could just become the safest one in the neighbourhood.