How Then Should You Respond To President-Elect Halimah Yacob?

by Patrick Liew on September 25, 2017

Mdm Halimah Yacob will be sworn in as the 8th President on Thursday, 13 September 2017.

How then should you respond to her leadership?

Fight her? Ignore her? Or support her?

1. Let’s take a walk down memory lane.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced on Wednesday, 27 2016 that a Constitutional Commission will be appointed to review selected aspects of the 25-year-old Elected Presidency system.

Did you give your feedback to the Government?

2. On Wednesday, 10 Feb 2016, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong appointed a nine-member Constitutional Commission chaired by the Chief Justice and eight other prominent leaders to study changes to the Elected Presidency system, including reviewing the qualifying criteria of candidates.

Did you give your feedback to the Government?

3. The Constitutional Commission made a call for written submissions.

Did you give your feedback to the Commission?

4. The Commission held four public hearings in April and May 2016, and deliberated over the recommendations before submitting them to the Government.

Did you give your feedback to the Commission?

5. The Commission’s report and the Government’s White Paper in reply was released in September 2016.

Did you give your feedback to the Government and the Commission?

6. The issues raised about the Elected Presidency was debated in Parliament from 7 to 9 November 2016.

Did you give your feedback to the Commission?

7. I have provided my feedback through different channels.

In addition, I have blogged about my concerns about the elected presidency system.


8. After the United States presidential election, I have also appealed to the authorities to learn from its election process.

And educate our electorate to vote wisely.

9. I have voiced my concerns and displeasure about the Elected Presidency system and the way it was implemented.

Truth be told, I’m still deeply concerned about how the government will carry out the Elected Presidency system in the future.

10. Everybody can criticize the Elected Presidency system and the way it was implemented.

However, please don’t blame President-Elect Halimah Yacob for the issues, including no-contest for the presidential election and disqualification of the two presidential candidates.

To be fair, the Presidential Elections Committee should also not be blamed for adhering to criteria for issuing the certificate of eligibility.

Why should the Committee lower the standards?

11. President-Elect Halimah Yacob did not contravene the Constitution.

She should be rightfully sworn in as the President of Singapore, our President.

12. Should you fight her or ignore her?

Do we want Singapore to end up like many countries where people fight and fight over their politicians?

Struggle over political power and positions? And polarize and divide their people?

13. To be fair to President-Elect Halimah Yacob, even many of the politicians in the opposition camps have recognized that she is a leader with a good heart.

She has addressed many key issues in Parliament and in the public and fought for the disadvantaged in our midst.

Shortly after being declared the winner, she has announced that she will still be staying in her family home, a Housing Board flat in Yishun.

Isn’t that a reflection of her spirit of humility and focus on serving the people?

14. If we put aside our concerns and happiness, we can find many virtues and values in having Mdm Halimah Yacob as our President.

For example, she will become the first woman to become the President of Singapore.

15. My prayer is that she’ll become a beacon for religious and racial harmony, multiculturalism, multiracialism, and gender parity.

She’ll be a leader that will lead and inspire our people in transforming Singapore into an exceptionally great country in the future.

Congratulations #HalimahYacob!

Photo credit: Mdm Halimah Yacob


I hope this message will find a place in your heart.

By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

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