Singapore

Halimah considers making 'beautiful' Istana more accessible

President Halimah Yacob is considering making the Istana grounds more accessible to Singaporeans.

She mentioned this after she went on a tour of the Istana yesterday morning ahead of her inauguration as Singapore's eighth head of state.

Madam Halimah, 63, met Istana staff and was briefed on the organisation of the Istana.

She also visited the President's Office, recently vacated by her predecessor Tony Tan Keng Yam.

She then took time to go on a guided tour of the gardens, the Istana Villa, Sri Temasek and the Military Guard House.

Speaking after her tour, Madam Halimah said she was thinking of making the Istana grounds more accessible to the public.

For instance, elderly volunteers could be invited to tend to the Istana's herb gardens, and help harvest its fruits and spices, she said. Children could also be invited onto the grounds for picnics, in addition to the Istana Open Houses on certain public holidays.

"I understand that we must also preserve the dignity of the Istana, but taking that into consideration, could we also make the Istana a little bit more accessible to people? It is a beautiful place," she said. - THE STRAITS TIMES

Halimah Yacobpresidentistana