17 September 2017
I am glad Singapore has its first Malay woman President, though it would have been much better if it wasn’t done through a reserved election. But that’s water under the bridge now.
I look forward to a Halimah Yacob presidency because I believe she has the qualities not only to perform the job but also to do so in a different way from previous heads of state. More important, the change can be good for Singapore.
President Halimah’s challenge is different: After three elected presidents, the formal role of safeguarding the country’s reserves and overseeing key appointments has more or less been settled.
Less understood is the informal unifying role the president plays in multiracial Singapore.
President Halimah now has a unique opportunity to reinforce the importance of this part of her job under trying circumstances.
I hope she can turn adversity into advantage. If ever a unifying president is needed, now is the time.
… Han Fook Kwang is also a senior fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University
RSIS / Online / Print
Last updated on 18/09/2017