President Halimah Yacob, known in several factions as “The Selected One” because of the controversial circumstances in which she was appointed president, says she will not contest the next presidential election.
The next PE must be held by 13 Sept this year, when she will bow out of office.
Mdm Halimah issued a statement on Mon (29 May) saying that it has been a “great honour and privilege” serving as Singapore’s 8th president, and that she made her decision after “very careful consideration”.
“I will forever cherish the fond memories of the people I have met, and the experiences acquired during my term. These will inspire me to continue contributing to our society and nation in other ways for as long as I am able to.”
Mdm Halimah was appointed in a walkover during PE2017, after all other potential candidates were barred from contesting as they could not meet the very strict criteria needed to qualify.
The election was reserved for ethnic Malays, which further limited the pool of eligible candidates.
The Singaporean public was largely incensed that Mdm Halimah, a former Speaker of Parliament, could qualify while businessmen who ran multi-million dollar corporations could not obtain a Certificate of Eligibility to run.
Many questioned Mdm Halimah’s eligibility as she was not of pure ethnic Malay descent.
Many also believed that reserving the election only for ethnic Malays was a way to ensure PE2011 candidate and current PSP chairman Dr Tan Cheng Bock would not qualify to run.
Dr Tan lost to the PAP’s preferred candidate, Dr Tony Tan, by a less than 1 percent margin in PE2011.