Halimah Yacob becomes the first female Singapore President. Many associate Halimah Yacob as part of the country’s establishment. Therefore, her walk over to the Presidential post without election did not go well with the country’s masses.
First Female Singapore President Belongs to Malay Community
The first female Singapore President comes from the Malay community. She becomes the second President from Malay community in 47 years. Yusof Ishak was the previous President from this community.
Why Select First Female Singapore President from Malay Community?
The authorities felt that there was a need to improve the inter-communal harmony. The majority population of Singapore consists of ethnic Chinese. Only one member of the Malay community was allowed to contest the Presidential election. Two other candidates from the same community, Farid Khan, and Salleh Marican were denied eligibility. They could not qualify because they did not meet the criteria. For a person to be nominated for contesting the Presidential seat in Singapore, they need to lead a business in the private sector. They also need to have an equity of $372 million in that company.
Halimah Yacob Response to her Selection
Halimah Yacob was ecstatic over her selection for the post of Singapore’s President. She has thanked her supporters while calling it a proud moment for the country. Furthermore, she stressed its importance for multi-racial and multi-communal unity.
Halimah Yacob wears a head scarf. She said that she knows no election took place to make her President of the country. However, she stated that she is the President of all Singaporeans regardless of their creed, religion, language or race. Twitter also participated in her win, adding an emoji for the first female head of the state in the world.
Criticism of the Process
It is not the first time Singaporean authorities disqualified candidates from taking part in the elections. The country is tightly regulated with the same parties ruling it for decades. The disqualification of the other candidates has made the process look like a selection. Furthermore, some did appreciate the selection of the First Female Singapore President from Maya minority. However, others are not happy because Halimah Yacob did not come to power through a democratic process.
Real Power of the Singaporean President
As the First Female Singapore President, Halimah Yacob knows the limitations of her powers. She, as the President of the country, will oversee its national asset reserves. However, she will not enjoy any of the Executive Powers that Members of the Cabinet or the Prime Minister hold. Furthermore, she can still use her veto power on the key government appointments.