Singapore

PM congratulates Halimah, thanks other two applicants

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong yesterday said Madam Halimah Yacob will "bring to the presidency her long experience working with Singaporeans from all walks of life and championing workers and disadvantaged groups".

Mr Lee, who phoned to congratulate Madam Halimah on becoming Singapore's eighth president, noted that she had served Singapore as a unionist, community leader, Member of Parliament, minister of state and Speaker of Parliament and that she would fulfil the presidential role "with distinction".

He said in a Facebook post: "I hope all of us will support her as our next president. I look forward to working with her to serve Singaporeans and the nation."

Mr Lee also thanked Mr Salleh Marican and Mr Farid Khan for offering themselves as candidates and said they "conducted themselves with propriety and decorum".

Mr Farid, 61, chairman of a marine services company and Mr Salleh, 67, chief executive of a property company, did not qualify to contest because neither had helmed a company with at least $500 million in shareholder equity in the most recent three years, a key requirement for private-sector candidates.

HEAL

Mr Salleh said in a statement: "This has been a divisive run-up to the nomination for the president. I hope Madam Halimah will heal the wounds.

"Given her experience and background, I believe she will be a unifying president."

Mr Farid said in a Facebook post: "I wish Madam Halimah Yacob all the best, and I hope that she will have the people of Singapore in her thoughts when making any decision that will affect our lives and the lives of our children."

The Prime Minister's Office said Madam Halimah will be officially sworn in at the Istana this evening.

electionpresidentHalimah Yacob