Halimah Yacob becomes Singapore's first female president; first Malay leader in 47 years

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

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.

This year’s Presidential Election has been reserved for the Malay community, following changes to the Elected Presidency scheme passed by Parliament last November. The changes allow for the election to be reserved for a particular ethnicity that has not had an elected representative for five consecutive terms. President Yusof Ishak was Singapore’s first President and the only Malay to have held the office till he died in 1970.

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