This, after she was the only candidate to be approved to run by the Elections Department, making it a walkover.
The public has expressed both anger and disgust at Mdm Halimah’s impending appointment.
One of her first task once she is declared President in 2 days time on Nomination Day (13 Sept) would be to raise public morale and address criticism over the controversial circumstances leading up to her appointment.
Public discontent has been fermenting, and this threatens to boil over as a result of the Election Dept’s decision to declare only Mdm Halimah eligible.
Some have questioned whether this was a result of the threat posed by other potential candidates, with the most prominent one being self-made millionaire Salleh Marican.
A prominent Malay businessman, Mr Salleh had pledged to donate all of his presidential salary, or about S$1.54 million, to charity if he was elected.
Others expected at least a chance to vote for their next president among the 3 potential candidates – Mr Salleh, Mdm Halimah, and shipping magnate Mr Farid Khan.
They were left sorely disappointed.
Others have decried the PAP-led government for what they believe is an “ownself appoint ownself” move, and have taken to social media to express their disgust.
Mdm Halimah had resigned from her role as PAP MP for Marsiling-Yew Tee and Speaker of Parliament to contest the presidency.
Even before the announcement of her candidacy, Minister Chan Chun Sing committed what some saw as a Freudian Slip when he referred to her in parliament as Mdm President.
Even hardcore PAP supporters have acknowledged that the bar had been raised for private sector candidates and Mdm Halimah would be out of her league if pitted against them.
Singapore’s first elected president, former deputy prime minister Ong Teng Cheong, was elected in 1993.
After him, Mr S R Nathan, who received the PAP’s endorsement, was elected after a walkover.
Singapore’s 3rd president under the elected presidency scheme was Dr Tony Tan, a PAP-endorsed candidate who barely scraped past independent candidate Dr Tan Cheng Bock, winning by a less than 1 percent margin.