Halimah Yacob, a former speaker of parliament from the city-state’s Muslim Malay minority, is the first woman to hold the largely ceremonial role. She automatically acceded to the supreme post after two potential rivals were eliminated because they did not meet all the required criteria. Thus no elections have been held.
The news of Yacob’s appointment provoked criticism on social media. On Facebook some of the comments read as reportedby AFP « Elected without election. What a joke, « wrote one user. « From now on, I will call her President Privilege, » added another user. « As a citizen of this democratic island nation, I’m deeply embarrassed. » wrote another one.
Yacob is Singapore’s first ethnic Malay president in 47 years since the late Yusof Ishak, who governed in the mid-1960s.
Halimah Yacob, 63, mother of five children, is expected to be sworn into office on Thursday for a six-years term.