SINGAPORE, NETRALNEWS.COM - Former Singapore's Parliament speaker Halimah Yacob has been inaugurated Singapore's first woman president on Wednesday (9/13/2017), after having been announced that she is the only presidential candidate to qualify for the election stage.
Singapore has set the presidential powers on candidates from minority Malay ethnic currently to strengthen the awareness of minorities in the multicultural country.
"Although this is reserved election, I am not reserved president," Halimah said in a speech at the Elections Department building.
"I am president for everyone," she continued.
Halimah's experience as speaker of the parliament automatically makes her qualified for this candidacy.
From four other candidates, two of which are not Malays and two were not awarded a Certificate of Eligibility, according to the Elections Department earlier this week.
The last Malay who served the presidency was Yusof Ishak, whose picture is depicted on the banknotes of the country.
Yusof was president in the 1965 and 1970 period, which was the early years of Singapore's independence, after the country's brief unification with Malaysia, but the executive power was held by Lee Kuan Yew, the country's Prime Minister.
The separation of Singapore from Malaysia makes the majority Malays live in Malaysia, while the majority Chinese live in independent Singapore. (*)