Halimah Yacob: I'm Not A Reserved President, I'm A President For Everyone

President-elect Halimah Yacob has promised to be a President for everyone, regardless of race, language or religion.
"I know some have some doubts about the reserved election but ... I am a president for everyone and I intend to serve all without any hesitation or doubt,” said Mdm Halimah after being declared President-elect on Wednesday (Sep 13).

“Although there is no election, my commitment to serve you remains the same, there is no diminution in my desire, passion, and commitment to serve you.”

This year’s election was reserved for candidates from the Malay community. Mdm Halimah will be Singapore’s first female President and the first Malay head of state in 47 years, after she became the only person to qualify for the election.

Mdm Halimah, 62, called her election a triumph for multiculturalism in Singapore.

"This is a proud moment for multi-culturalism, multi-racialism," she said to applause at the Nomination Centre at the People's Association Headquarters.

"This shows that multi-culturalism is not just a slogan ... it really works in our society. Everyone has the chance to reach the highest office of land."

The former Speaker of Parliament also gave a call out to her "sisters" in the crowd.

"I also stand before you as the first female President of Singapore," she said with her husband Mohamed Abdullah standing beside her. "I can see that many of our sisters are delighted ... Every woman can aspire to the highest office in the land if you have the courage, the determination and the will to work hard."


She concluded by calling for unity and for all Singaporeans to stand together to make the country a better place.

"The time to elect a president has ended, and now it's the time for us to focus on how we can build Singapore so that it becomes a more progressive society," she said in her Malay speech. "And we have to work together in this effort. Not one person can say that it can be done singlehandedly."

She said twice: "I ask that we focus on the similarities that we have and not on our differences."

Harking back to her campaign slogan "Do good, Do together", she said: "I am deeply humbled to be given this opportunity to serve all of you ... We can do good together, and I invite you to do good together with me."

Mdm Halimah will be sworn in as Singapore’s eighth President at the Istana on Thursday. (channelnewsasia.com)