Crowds cheer President Halimah's first NDP

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Months of training paid off in bringing the National Day Parade to life yesterday and the performers had another reason to cheer at the end of the show after President Halimah Yacob went over to mingle and take photos with them.

The first woman president to grace the parade, Madam Halimah received a warm reception from the crowd and performers.

It was not the first time, however, that she had a formal role to play in the National Day Parade: Madam Halimah was the reviewing officer at every parade preview since 2013.

During that time, Madam Halimah was Speaker of Parliament, before being declared president-elect on Sept 13 last year.

She became Singapore's first Malay president in 47 years, after a walkover in the country's first presidential election reserved for candidates from the Malay community.

Madam Halimah did not speak to the media at the parade yesterday but she said in a Facebook post on Tuesday that National Day is for Singaporeans to celebrate the nation's independence and to reflect on how far they have come.

"This year's Parade is especially meaningful to me, because the programme will involve Singaporeans from diverse talents," she wrote.

"It is a good reminder that regardless of background, we can all contribute."

Yesterday, Madam Halimah attended the parade with her husband, Mr Mohamed Abdullah Alhabshee. - THE STRAITS TIMES

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