Singapore’s first female president is a Hijab-wearing Muslim woman

  • Singapore now has its first ever female president ― a hijab-wearing Muslim woman named Halimah Yacob.
  • In this particular election, only candidates from the minority Malay group were able to qualify. Malays form just over 13 per cent of Singapore’s population of 3.9 million.
  • Candidates also had to meet strict criteria in regards to their careers – they had to either have held a top public post, or have been a chief executive of a private company with at least $370 million in shareholders’ equity.
  • Yacob automatically qualified as a former speaker of parliament. As she had no opponent, the election went uncontested, and the 63-year-old was declared president-elect after nominations closed on Wednesday.
  • The president-elect has responded to criticism by saying: “I can only say that I promise to do the best that I can to serve the people of Singapore and that doesn’t change whether there is an election or no election.”
  • Yacob will not only make history as the city state’s first female president, but also as a hijabi woman.

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