Speaker of Parliament Halimah Yacob described the president that she would like to be in a Facebook note released on the same night she announced her decision to run in the Presidential Election (PE) in September.
Explaining that she had done “extensive consultations” with family and close friends over the past weeks, she acknowledged that the role is a “very heavy responsibility” and she had to “take into consideration my current responsibilities and what will become of them”.
“A president should unify the nation, and channel our shared values into doing good for the country, and wholeheartedly serve Singapore and Singaporeans. This is the kind of President I would like to have. This is the kind of President I would like to be,” she wrote.
She will hand in her resignation on Monday (7 August) from her official duties and positions, including her office as MP for Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC. She will also quit the People’s Action Party.
Halimah added that she had dedicated her life to serving the people for the past 40 years starting with her work at the National Trades Union Congress, and later as a Minister of State and Member of Parliament. Her key concerns continue to be workers’ rights, helping the elderly and helping disadvantaged families.
She said, “The Office of President is an opportunity for me to serve Singapore and Singaporeans. It has a huge capacity to do a tremendous amount of good, and I know that we can achieve more when we focus on our shared values and goals.”
Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong, who is also an MP for Marsiling-Yew Tee Group Representation Constituency, said, “My team and I will build on (Halimah’s) good work and work even harder to serve our residents.”
He added that the programmes and services in Marsiling “will continue to run smoothly”, and that MPs will take turns to cover the Meet-the-People sessions on Tuesdays.
Speculation had been rife over when the Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC MP would confirm running for the presidency ever since she said she was “thinking about” about it on 16 July.
Yahoo News Singapore reported on 27 July that Halimah had decided to run in the PE, citing sources, although she said then in response to queries that she was still considering. Thus far, the other would-be candidates for the election are Second Chance Properties chief executive officer Mohd Salleh Marican and Bourbon Offshore Asia Pacific chairman Farid Khan Kaim Khan.