PE2017 - I want to be a unifying force, election or no election: Halimah Yacob

Halimah Yacob addresses reporters outside the Elections Department on Monday (11 September). PHOTO: Nicholas Yong
Halimah Yacob addresses reporters outside the Elections Department on Monday (11 September). PHOTO: Nicholas Yong

Former Speaker of Parliament Halimah Yacob has pledged to be a unifying figure for Singaporeans, regardless of whether there is a presidential election.

The 63-year-old is poised to be the first female president of Singapore, after she became the only candidate to be issued a Certificate of Eligibility by the Presidential Elections Committee (PEC) for the upcoming election.

This year’s presidential election, which would have been on 23 September, is reserved for Malay candidates.

Speaking to reporters briefly outside the Elections Department on Monday (11 September), the former Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC Member of Parliament was asked if she was worried about public perception since she would not have to fight an election.

“I can only say that I promise to do the best that I can to serve the people of Singapore, and that doesn’t change whether there is an election or no election…my passion and commitment to serve the people of Singapore remains the same.”

Halimah, a mother of five, was also asked how she planned to unite the people as a president, given the many differing views on the reserved presidential election.

She replied, “One of the main focus and function of the elected president is to act as a unifying force. Obviously, there’s work that I have to do, but…I would like to invite Singaporeans to work together with me, so that we can work together for a united Singapore and a much stronger Singapore.”

Halimah added, “Once elected, the president, and the process may be reserved election, but the president is for everyone, all communities, regardless of your race or religion…the president, once elected, represents all races, all religions, all communities in Singapore.

The presidential hopeful plans to hold a press conference after Nomination Day, which takes place on Wednesday, where she promised to address more questions.

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