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Halimah Yacob, our (first female) President

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  • gekpohboy's Avatar
    2,180 posts since Mar '16
    • Presidential election: only one certificate of eligibility issued

      SINGAPORE'S next presidential election is on track to be declared a walkover, as the Presidential Elections Committee (PEC) announced on Monday that it has issued a certificate of eligibility (COE) to only one out of three applicants from the Malay community.

      The recipient is widely believed to be former speaker of parliament Halimah Yacob, who was the only one out of the three to automatically qualify.

      The other applicants were from the private sector - Second Chance Properties chief Mohamed Salleh Marican, and Bourbon Offshore Asia Pacific chairman Farid Khan Kaim Khan.

      Five people had applied for the COE and Community Certificate at the close of applications last week. The Elections Department (ELD) confirmed that only one person will be issued with both certificates needed to contest the election.

      The ELD said it has notified all five individuals on the outcome of their applications, with the reasons given to the unsuccessful parties as well.

      "The PEC and ELD will not, in the first instance, publish the names of the unsuccessful applicants or the reasons given to them. This is to give effect to the recommendation of the Constitutional Commission that unsuccessful applicants should not be disclosed to the public, to reduce the prospect of potential applicants being dissuaded from stepping forward to contest the elections. An unsuccessful applicant is free to publish the reasons given to him or her," said the ELD statement.

      (Plagiarised from The Business Times)

      Edited by gekpohboy 14 Sep `17, 12:37AM
    • "Singapore has a new president, no election needed" - New York Times

      Edited by gekpohboy 14 Sep `17, 12:17PM
  • Queen of sgForums
    驚世駭俗醜不啦嘰 moderatress
    FireIce's Avatar
    264,010 posts since Dec '99
    • Halimah Yacob set to be Singapore's first female president: A timeline of her career

       

      Madam Halimah Yacob was issued a Certificate of Eligibility by the Presidential Elections Committee on Monday (Sept 11).

      The 63-year-old was the only presidential hopeful of three to receive the certificate, meaning the presidential election reserved for candidates from the Malay community is headed for a walkover.

      The former unionist and Speaker of Parliament is set to be Singapore's first female president. On Wednesday, she will turn up at the People's Association headquarters in King George's Avenue to file her nomination papers. If they are in order, the returning officer will declare her president-elect, and she will start her term on Thursday.

      Here is a timeline of her career.

      Aug 23, 1954 - She was born in her family home in Queen Street, the youngest of five children.

      1962 - Her father, a watchman, died when she was eight. Her mother sold nasi padang from a pushcart plying Shenton Way before getting a hawker stall licence. She helped out at her mother's stall, cleaning, washing, clearing tables and serving customers.

      Late 1960s - She attended the Singapore Chinese Girls' School, and was one of the few Malay pupils there.

       

      A younger Madam Halimah Yacob before she entered politics. She went on to become the first Malay woman MP since Independence. ST FILE PHOTO

       

      1970s - She later went to Tanjong Katong Girls' School and the University of Singapore where she graduated with a law degree.

      1978 - She joined the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) as a legal officer. She spent more than 30 years there and was eventually appointed Deputy Secretary General.

       

      Then-NTUC assistant secretary-general Halimah Yacob visiting a needy family in Bukit Panjang in 2007.

       

      1980 - She married her university sweetheart, Mr Mohamed Abdullah Alhabshee, a businessman. They have five children who are now aged 26 to 35.

       

      Halimah Yacob with her husband celebrating National Day at the Marina Bay floating platform in 2017. PHOTO: BERITA HARIAN

       

      2001 - She entered politics at the urging of then-prime minister Goh Chok Tong and has contested and won in four general elections since. She contested for seats in Jurong GRC and Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC.

       

      PAP candidate for Jurong GRC, Madam Halimah Yacob, being congratulated by supporters at Jurong East Stadium in 2001. ST FILE PHOTO

       

      2011 - She became Minister of State at the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sport.

       

      Halimah Yacob visiting a childcare centre in Yishun in 2011 when she was Minister of State for Community Development, Youth and Sports. PHOTO: BERITA HARIAN

       

      2013 - She was appointed Singapore's first female Speaker of Parliament.

      Sept 11, 2015 - Her mother, aged 90, died on Polling Day of the 2015 General Election. Madam Halimah was very close to her and described it as "the saddest moment of my life".

       

      Halimah Yacob with her mother, Madam Maimun Abdullah, at their Yishun flat on March 3, 2013. PHOTO: BERITA HARIAN

       

      Sept 11, 2017 - She is set to be Singapore's first female President after being the only presidential hopeful to receive a Certificate of Eligibility.

       

      Halimah Yacob speaks to the media outside the Elections Department at Prinsep Street on Sept 11, 2017. ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

       

      SOURCES: Halimah.sg, The Straits Times archives

  • gekpohboy's Avatar
    2,180 posts since Mar '16
    • How Singapore elected a president without a vote

      Singapore (CNN) -- Singaporeans were meant to go to the polls at the end of next week to vote for a new president, but they'll no longer have the chance, with only one candidate qualifying for the race.

      Former Speaker of Parliament Halimah Yacob has emerged victorious by default, after other presidential hopefuls fell foul of new rules.

      "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," she told reporters Monday.

      What should be a moment of celebration -- Halimah will be Singapore's first female president -- has proved contentious for several reasons and appears at odds with Singapore's reputation as a technocratic and efficient city state.

      While the office of president is largely a ceremonial role in Singapore, he or she has power to veto some of the government's decisions, for example in fiscal matters that touch on the country's reserves, or key appointments in the public service.

      "The only beneficiaries from this reserved presidential election are Halimah Yacob and her team, as well as Singapore's opposition, which now has a new line of attack against the PAP (People's Action Party). The rest of Singapore has suffered," Sudhir Vadaketh, a Singapore author and commentator, told CNN. Halimah is loyal member of the PAP, which dominates Singaporean government.

      "All Singaporeans are unhappy that meritocracy and electoral fairness, core Singaporean values, have been eroded to fulfill perceived political goals."

      Racial politics

      In this election, for the first time, candidates to become Singapore's president could only come from one racial group: Malays.

      It's a radical policy that would likely prove divisive elsewhere but it's one the Southeast Asian nation said was necessary to ensure better representation among the country's three main races: Chinese, Indian and Malay.

      "It shows we don't only talk about multi-racialism, but we talk about it in the context of meritocracy or opportunities for everyone, and we actually practice it," Halimah told The Straits Times newspaper, before declaring her intention to contest the election.

      The new rules also set stricter criteria on the background of candidates. For example, those from the private sector are required to be a chief executive of a company, with at least $370 million in shareholders' equity.

      The two other Malay presidential hopefuls -- businessmen Salleh Marican and Farid Khan -- failed to gain Certificates of Eligibility from the Presidential Elections Committee on these grounds, although the Presidential Elections Committee could have exercised its discretion to allow them to run for the office.

      Critics charge that the new rules are a way for the government to stage-manage the election and prevent opponents from running.

      In August, Singapore's appeal court ruled against a legal challenge to the new system by ruling party lawmaker turned critic, Tan Cheng Bock. Tan had narrowly lost the previous presidential election in 2011 to Tony Tan, a former deputy prime minister widely recognized as the government-favored candidate, and planned to run again.

      Singapore's population is 74% Chinese, 13% Malay, 9% Indian and 3.2% are the ambiguously named "Others."

      New rules

      The announcement late Monday by the Elections Department that only one candidate had qualified marks an underwhelming conclusion to a controversial election carried out under changes to the elected presidency system in Singapore voted through Parliament earlier this year.

      Specifically, the amendment states that an election will be reserved for candidates from a particular racial group if the previous five elections have not produced a president from that racial group. In Singapore, it's dubbed a "hiatus-triggered model."

      "Every citizen, Chinese, Malay, Indian or some other race, should know that someone of his community can become President, and in fact from time to time, does become President," said Lee Hsien Loong, Singapore's prime minister, last November before the new rule was introduced.

      Singapore hasn't had a Malay president since the country's first President Yusof Ishak, who served as head of state from 1965 to 1970. Subsequent presidents have been from the Eurasian, Chinese and Indian communities.

      Debate

      The election has also triggered debate on who is Malay and raised questions over how an individual's race can be determined.

      Candidates were required to be assessed by a five-member community panel to certify their race as Malay as part of the qualifying criteria.

      Halimah, who has successfully stood as a Malay candidate in previous general elections, is reported to have an Indian father.

      Moreover, Salleh Marican also has an Indian father, while Farid Khan's identity card lists his race as "Pakistani," the government-controlled Straits Times reported.

      What's more, critics point out that, if the goal really was to improve racial representation and justice, more meaningful measures could be adopted.

      The Chinese form the majority in Singapore and often dominate in positions of power and influence.

      Singapore's prime minister has always been Chinese, and it was only in 2015 that the country finally had more than one Malay minister in the Cabinet at one time.

      The Malay community typically have lower incomes and grapple with institutional discrimination, such as in the armed forces.

      "While reserving the presidential elections for only Malays is a highly symbolic gesture, there is a need to do more for concrete issues faced by the Malay community such as discrimination, lack of social mobility and relative poverty," lawyer Fadli Fawzi told CNN.

      "I think that it is more important to focus on removing barriers and improving the lot of the man on the street rather than reserving slots for one or two individuals."

      Speaking at a forum on Friday, Chan Chun Sing, a minister in the Prime Minister's Office, acknowledged the unpopularity of the new system, saying that it would be a "hard journey" to convince Singaporeans that the change was necessary.

      He denied accusations that the amendments were made for political gain.

      "We are prepared to pay the political price, because we think the future of our country is much more important than any political capital that we may have," he said.

      (Plagiarised from CNN)

      Edited by gekpohboy 13 Sep `17, 5:55PM
  • Queen of sgForums
    驚世駭俗醜不啦嘰 moderatress
    FireIce's Avatar
    264,010 posts since Dec '99
    • 'Many changes' to EP scheme led to walkover, lack of voting opportunity: WP

       

      Several members of the Workers' Party (WP), including Non-Constituency Member of Parliament (NCMP) Leon Perera, have spoken out against the walkover in this year's Presidential Election. They noted that many recent changes to the scheme had led to only several occasions where voters went to the ballot box in the past 26 years.

      The Association of Women for Action and Research (Aware), in congratulating Madam Halimah Yacob, who is set to become Singapore's first woman President, reiterated its disappointment with the tightening of the eligibility criteria for presidential candidates.

      "Nevertheless, we congratulate Madam Halimah ... and hope that she will speak up for gender equality in her role," it said on Tuesday (Sept 12).

      In a Facebook post on Monday, Mr Perera noted that there have been only two elections across five presidential cycles. Those elections were won by Mr Ong Teng Cheong in 1993, and Dr Tony Tan in 2011. Mr S R Nathan was elected unopposed in 1999 and 2005, as will be Mdm Halimah in this year's election which has been reserved for the Malay community.

      Mdm Halimah was the only presidential hopeful to receive both the Certificate of Eligibility and the Malay Community Certificate on Monday.

      Should her nomination papers be in order, the 63-year-old former Speaker of Parliament will be declared Singapore's eighth President on Nomination Day on Wednesday.

      "It seems that the new President will not be popularly elected after all, as the other hopefuls did not meet the criteria," said Mr Perera, adding that "many changes" made to the Elected Presidency last year had led to this outcome. The changes include raising the bar for private-sector candidates, requiring them to helm companies with at least S$500 million in shareholders' equity.

      In this year's election, Mdm Halimah is the only presidential hopeful to qualify, having served in a key public office, as Speaker of Parliament, for more than three years.

      Two other presidential hopefuls - chairman of marine services provider Bourbon Offshore Asia Pacific Farid Khan, 62, and chief executive of Second Chance Properties Mohamed Salleh Marican, 67 - did not receive the Certificate of Eligibility as they fell short of the qualifying criteria.

      Mr Yee Jenn Jong, a former WP NCMP, questioned the need to tighten the criteria for private-sector candidates in a Facebook post on Tuesday.

      "If we look at the backgrounds of the two disqualified Malay candidates, they are both self-made businessmen with rages-to-riches stories, demonstrating resilience in adversity and I am sure financial prudence and savvy to achieve what they did," he said.

      Some Singaporeans also took to social media to express their disappointment with the walkover, with many using the hashtag #NotMyPresident in their posts. The hashtag first gained popularity among social-media users rallying against Mr Donald Trump after he won the United States' presidential election last year.

      Mr Darryl David, a People's Action Party (PAP) MP for Ang Mo Kio GRC, said: "I've seen those hashtags. You're drawing a comparison to another election in another country. The circumstances and people are very different. To use a hashtag used in that (US) election is extreme."

      While he understood Singaporeans' disappointment over the lack of a voting opportunity, another PAP MP, Mr Henry Kwek (Nee Soon GRC) pointed out that the late Mr Nathan was a "steady hand" and "well-loved" President, despite winning in a walkover twice.

      Speaking to reporters outside the Elections Department on Monday, Mdm Halimah said that she would do her best to care for and serve Singaporeans. "That doesn't change whether there's an election or no election."

       

      todayonline

  • iveco's Avatar
    17,027 posts since Mar '04
  • Queen of sgForums
    驚世駭俗醜不啦嘰 moderatress
    FireIce's Avatar
    264,010 posts since Dec '99
  • gekpohboy's Avatar
    2,180 posts since Mar '16
    • "Why Singaporeans aren't all glad to get the president they wanted" - BBC

      Edited by gekpohboy 14 Sep `17, 12:19PM
  • iveco's Avatar
    17,027 posts since Mar '04
  • John Wong's Avatar
    526 posts since Oct '99
    • Would it have been less obvious if they just made the rule "your name must be Halimah to qualify?"

      No, more people would have qualified.

  • gekpohboy's Avatar
    2,180 posts since Mar '16
    • "Anger in Singapore as first female president is elected without a vote" - The Guardian

      Edited by gekpohboy 14 Sep `17, 12:18PM
    • “哈莉玛当选新加坡总统 愿与国人“同心同行”” - 新华社

      Edited by gekpohboy 14 Sep `17, 12:18PM
    • "போட்டியாளர்கள் தகுதி நீக்கத்தால் அதிரடி சிங்கப்பூர் முதல் பெண் அதிபரானார் ஹலீமா" - தினகரன்

      Edited by gekpohboy 14 Sep `17, 12:18PM
    • "Halimah Yacob diisytihar Presiden Singapura ke-8" - Astro Awani

      Edited by gekpohboy 14 Sep `17, 12:18PM
    • #NotMyPresident

      Edited by gekpohboy 14 Sep `17, 8:32PM
    • Malays have reserved election for president

      I also want a reserved election for president for hokkien lang!!

      Edited by gekpohboy 14 Sep `17, 8:40PM
    • Singapore needs a hokkien president!

      Edited by gekpohboy 14 Sep `17, 8:40PM
    • Originally posted by gekpohboy:

      Singapore needs a hokkien president!

      Dun la.

      Father Hakka, mother hokkien.

      How to certify?

      Later netizen kpkb cry foul.

    • Originally posted by gekpohboy:

      Malays have reserved election for president

      I also want a reserved election for president for hokkien lang!!

      Steady i suggest the banner would be "Democracy Jin Ho Jiak!"

    • Originally posted by gekpohboy:

      Dun la.

      Father Hakka, mother hokkien.

      How to certify?

      Later netizen kpkb cry foul.

      Can must prove authrncity by eating ten plates of hokkien mee

    • Originally posted by gekpohboy:

      Can must prove authrncity by eating ten plates of hokkien mee

      Prease go Hokkien Clan Association to get certification for fives times as Hokkien Lang then talk hor...

    • Hokkien huay kuan take notice of this request!

      We want a reserved presidency for hokkien lang nxt time!!!

    • Originally posted by gekpohboy:

      Dun la.

      Father Hakka, mother hokkien.

      How to certify?

      Later netizen kpkb cry foul.

      Can la.. as long MIW certify, anything is possible

      Edited by gekpohboy 14 Sep `17, 9:01PM
    • cannot. must be hakka first

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