SINGAPORE – Madam Halimah Yacob, the sole eligible candidate for this year’s reserved Presidential Elections, has arrived at the Nomination Centre on Wednesday (Sept 13) morning to submit her papers.
If her nomination is in order, the 63-year-old former Speaker of Parliament will be declared the Republic's eighth President-elect and start her term from Thursday.
She will be also be Singapore’s first Malay president in 47 years and the first woman to occupy the highest office in the land.
As early as 9.45am, Mdm Halimah’s family members, dressed in orange, started gathering at NTUC Centre, from where she departed for the Nomination Centre.
Over at the Nomination Centre at the People’s Association headquarters along King George’s Avenue, supporters also started streaming in around the same time to get ready to welcome her. They include Ain Society members as well as 500 to 600 union leaders from more than 45 unions, including the United Workers of Electronic and Electrical Industries, Singapore Maritime Officers' Union, Staff Union of NTUC ARU, Keppel Employees Union, Creative Media and Publishing Union, and more.
Representing the Building Construction & Timber Industries Employees Union as its executive secretary, Mr Zainal Sapari, said: "I am here to give my support to Mdm Halimah ... Mdm Halimah has done a lot for many workers and we strongly believe that she will make a good president."
On Monday, it was announced that this year's Presidential Election – reserved for the Malays following changes to the Elected Presidency scheme – would be a walkover as Mdm Halimah was the only one of three hopefuls to be given both the Certificate of Eligibility and Malay Community Certificate.
While the other two hopefuls, chairman of marine services provider Bourbon Offshore Asia Pacific Farid Khan, 62, and chief executive of Second Chance Properties Mohamed Salleh Marican, 67, each received a Malay Community Certificate, they were denied the Certificate of Eligibility.
To qualify for the Certificate of Eligibility, private-sector candidates must have served as the chief executive of a company for at least three years, with the company having at least S$500 million in shareholders’ equity on average, in the most recent three years. Neither Mr Farid nor Mr Salleh met the criteria.
To complete the nomination process, Mdm Halimah must be accompanied by her proposer, seconder and at least four, but not more than eight, assentors.
Her nomination paper and relevant certificates must also be delivered in duplicate to Returning Officer Ng Wai Choong.
Objections, which must be made in writing, may be raised between 11am and 12.30pm. Given that there are no rival candidates, the Returning Officer may raise the objections.