Meet Singapore's first female President: Halimah Yacob

World

Published: 2017-09-13 16:32

Last Updated: 2017-09-14 08:46


Most Singaporeans celebrated Yacob's win, while others criticized the "undemocratic" process. (Photo Credit: Reuters)
Most Singaporeans celebrated Yacob's win, while others criticized the "undemocratic" process. (Photo Credit: Reuters)
Roya News Source

While a celebration to some, Singapore's first female president, Halimah Yacob's rise to power drew some controversy amongst the city-state's residents. 

With no other contendors running for the position, Yacob was elected as President of Singapore in a "walkover" election and is expected to be sworn into office tomorrow. 

Yacob, who is a former speaker for parliament from the Muslim Malay minority, did not have to face an election as Singaporean authorities deemed  her competitors unfit for the largely ceremonial position. 

Yacob will be Singapore's first ethnic Malay president in 47 years, as authorities decided to allow only candidates from the Malay community to put themselves forward, which they believe will foster harmony in the city-state of 5.5 million people, dominated by ethnic Han (Chinese).

With the announcement of her win, Yacob thanked her supporters in a speech, calling it "a proud moment for Singapore, for multiculturalism and multi-racialism."

Some critics claim that she cannot represent them, being a Muslim woman donning the hijab from an ethnic minority. She graciously addressed these concerns however, saying: "I am a president for everyone, regardless of race, language, religion or creed."

With that said, executive power is only in the hands of the Prime Minister and members of their cabinet, whereas the President of Singapore is vested with the responsibility of overseeing the country's national asset reserves.