SINGAPORE: Speaker of Parliament Halimah Yacob said on Sunday (Jul 16) she is “thinking about” running for the Presidency.
“I am thinking about it, about running for the presidency,” Mdm Halimah told reporters at a community event in her Marsiling ward.
“The EP (elected presidency) is a very heavy responsibility and an important institution in Singapore, so it’s not something that one should take lightly. The duties are also heavy duties. So I have been thinking about it. It needs a bit of time to think.
“I must say at this moment I have a lot of duties that I have to perform as speaker, as member of parliament. Those duties are also very dear, very important to me,” Mdm Halimah added.
“I need to consult my family, my colleagues. It’s not a question that we can just I say, make a decision alone,” she told reporters.
Her comments come after 62-year-old Bourbon Offshore Asia chairman Farid Khan Kaim Khan formally announced his bid for candidacy on Tuesday (Jul 11).
Following Mdm Halimah’s comments, Mr Farid Khan said: “I welcome Madam Halimah’s intention to contest in the upcoming Presidential Election.”
Mr Farid is chairman of marine services provider company Bourbon Offshore Asia. According to a statement by Mr Farid, the company operated a fleet of more than 500 vessels in 2016. It has about 9,300 employees in 45 countries.
He said he is confident of qualifying as a Malay candidate, even though his identity card identifies him as ‘Pakistani’. Under changes to the elected presidency, candidates will be assessed by the Community Committee as to whether they belong to the particular community.
Another bid has come from 67-year-old Second Chance Properties CEO, Mohamed Salleh Marican who also announced his intention to run.
This year’s Presidential Election, which has been reserved for Malay candidates,
will be held in September.
Applications for the 2017 Presidential Election certificates opened on Jun 1, the Elections.
They will close five days after the writ of election is issued in August, ahead of the elections in September.
Prospective candidates must apply to the Community Committee for a Malay community certificate. The Malay community sub-committee, chaired by former Nominated Member of Parliament Imram Mohamed, will then assess the application.
Applicants will be notified of the outcome before Nomination Day. Incumbent President Tony Tan Keng Yam will complete his term of office on Aug 31. In the interim period from Sep 1 to when the new President takes office, an acting President can perform the role of the President under the law.