Halimah Yacob has resigned from her positions as Speaker of Parliament and Member of Parliament for Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC.
In separate letters sent to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Clerk of Parliament Ng Sheau Jiuan and Deputy Speaker Charles Chong, she indicated that she would also be resigning from the People’s Action Party (PAP) “with immediate effect”, in order to contest in next month’s Presidential Election. The letters were shared with the media on Monday (7 August).
Halimah announced her intention contest the election on Sunday at a community event in Marsiling. Speculation had been rife over when she would confirm her bid for the presidency ever since she said she was “thinking about” about it on 16 July.
“It is not an easy decision for me to make because of my existing obligations but I have a very strong desire to serve Singapore and Singaporeans,” the 62-year-old said in her letter to PM Lee.
“I seek your support and understanding in my decision to resign as a Member of Parliament for (Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC) with immediate effect. I also tender my resignation from the People’s Action Party with immediate effect. With my resignation from the party, I will also cease to be a member of the Party’s Central Executive Committee, Chairperson of the PAP Seniors’ Group and Chairman of the PAP’s Marsiling branch,” she added.
Halimah also asked for PM Lee’s support in “quickly appointing replacements for the posts that I am relinquishing, to avoid any disruption”. In her letter to Chong, she asked for his assistance in leading the House “until such a time a new Speaker is elected”.
She also recounted the time she spent with the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC), where she began her career in 1978, her entry into politics with the 2001 General Election and her subsequent election as Speaker of Parliament in 2013.
“All this is possible because of our founding fathers’ far-sightedness in establishing, with fellow Singaporeans, a multiracial, meritocratic nation, where everyone regardless of race, language or religion, can chase their rainbows. I was given that opportunity and I am grateful,” she said.
(Read Halimah’s resignation letter to PM Lee in full below):
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