The world welcomes a new First Female President of Singapore and the first Malay president in 47 years, Her Excellence, Halimah Yacob

SINGAPORE: Former Speaker of Parliament Halimah Yacob is set to be Singapore’s first Malay president in more than 47 years, after the Elections Department (ELD) said on Monday (Sept 11) that only one individual qualified for the inaugural reserved Presidential Election.

Among those who submitted application forms, only one individual received both Certificate of Eligibility and Community Certificates, said the ELD in its statement which did not name the individual.

Halimah, 62, is the only candidate who automatically qualifies for the election having served as a Speaker of Parliament for more than three years.

Contacted by TODAY, the spokespersons for chairman of marine services provider Bourbon Offshore Asia Pacific Farid Khan, 62, and chief executive of Second Chance Properties Mohamed Salleh Marican, 67, confirmed that their applications were rejected.

Halimah will be Singapore’s eighth President and the first woman to hold the position as the country’s Head of State. The Returning Officer, Energy Market Authority chief executive Ng Wai Choong, will declare her as the elected President on Nomination Day on Wednesday.

Former President Tony Tan’s six-year term expired on Aug 31 and J Y Pillay – the chairman of the Council of Presidential Advisers – has been the Acting President since Sept 1. There will not be a poll and Halimah will start her term as President on Thursday.

The ELD said the Community Committee issued three Malay Community Certificates while the Presidential Elections Committee (PEC) decided to issue one Certificate of Eligibility.

It added: “The PEC and the Elections Department 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.”

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