- The Straits Times
Halimah Yacob is set to become Singapore’s first woman president, and the country’s first Malay head of state in over 47 years.
The 63-year-old politician is expected to submit her papers tomorrow, after it was revealed yesterday that her potential rivals had failed to qualify for the presidential bid.
Salleh Marican and Farid Khan had submitted their names but did not meet the requirements for a certificate of eligibility.
In a report published today (Sept 12), The Straits Times noted that observers had expected such an outcome but “had mixed feelings” about the likely walkover.
At the same time, many agreed that the Presidential Elections Committee should not have lowered the bar for candidates.
Chua Chu Kang GRC MP Zaqy Mohamad was quoted as saying: “On the one hand, I am very happy for Madam Halimah, as she would make a very good president. But many Singaporeans were hoping for a contest because they felt they had a democratic right to vote.”
The lack of an electoral campaign and contest could cause for a missing element of legitimacy in voters’ minds, ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute fellow Norshahril Saat was also quoted as saying.