So the dice has been cast and Halimah Yacob has become the 8th President of Singapore, uncontested.
People are disgruntled. Angry voices permeate online social spaces expressing their disappointment and furor over the walkover, describing the entire reserved election as a farce or purely “wayang”.
Yes we are unhappy, we can question the system and cast doubts. But it is time to move on and accept the results now that everything is over. Halimah Yacob will be Singapore’s first FEMALE Malay president. There is more that she can do now as a Head of State of this cosmopolitan city.
And to be fair to Halimah, it was not exactly a “referee kayu” kind of outcome. Halimah has done well over the years and proved that she has the capacity to take on a bigger role from her report card. She was not daunted by her family circumstances and balanced her school work with supporting her family when she was young. As a MP, she has established strong rapport with her residents both at Jurong GRC and Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC, and demonstrated that she is a capable, sincere and down-to-earth MP, and also Speaker of Parliament.
Halimah’s achievements are no doubt outstanding not only to any man on the street, but in particular, resonates strongly with women from a less privileged backgrounds. Her story would not only serve to inspire passionate women who are not afraid of putting in hard work, but also the tenacity to push boundaries, a point highlighted in her speech after being declared as President-elect, that “every woman can aspire to the highest office of the land, if you have courage, the determination and the will to work hard”.
Even AWARE has used Halimah’s achievements to promote the cause for single parents housing:
Halimah promised that she will be a president for all, “regardless of race, language, religion or creed…” and definitely, not a “reserved” President.
It will be a long and tough road. But let’s give chance and have faith in our first Madam President.