Speaker of Parliament Halimah Yacob said on Sunday (16 July) that she is “thinking about” standing in September’s Presidential Election (PE), which is reserved for Malay candidates.
“I am thinking about it, of running for the presidency,” the 62-year-old Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC MP said after a community event in her ward, according to a Straits Times report.
“The elected presidency is a very heavy responsibility and an important institution in Singapore, so it’s not something that one should take lightly,” she added.
Halimah noted that she still had “a lot of duties” to perform as Speaker of Parliament and as an MP, and that this work is “very dear and important to her”. In order to contest the election, she will have to quit the aforementioned posts and resign from the People’s Action Party (PAP).
A former unionist, Halimah has served as Speaker of Parliament since January 2013 and has been a Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC MP since 2015.
The announcement came following much speculation over her possible candidacy; a subject that Halimah remained tight-lipped over when confronted by the media.
In the lead-up to the PE, two other potential candidates have announced their intentions to run: Mohd Salleh Marican, the chief executive officer of Second Chance Properties, and Farid Khan Kaim Khan, chairman of marine service provider Bourbon Offshore Asia Pacific.
Salleh, 67, was the first to announce his plans on 31 May, while Farid, 62, revealed his intentions at a press conference held on 11 July.
In an exclusive interview with Yahoo News Singapore on 2 June, Salleh he was aware of the potential challenge from Halimah in the election and described her as being a “good candidate” for the presidency as she has “a good reputation and is popular”.