ICYMI, Singapore is set to welcome its first ever female and Malay president in more than 47 years – a hijab-wearing Malay woman named Halimah Yacob.
The 63-year-old politician is the youngest of five siblings and was raised by a single mother who worked as a food cart seller. She graduated from the University of Singapore with a law degree and went on to work for a national trade union organization. Yacob entered local politics in 2001 and rose to the rank of Speaker of Parliament in 2013.
In Singapore, the prime minister is the most powerful political leader, while the president’s role is largely ceremonial. However, the president holds some important responsibilities, such as the ability to block key public-sector appointments, investigate allegations of corruption, and appoint a prime minister.
“I can only say that I promise to do the best that I can to serve the people of Singapore and that doesn’t change whether there is an election or no election,” Yacob told reporters. “One of the main focus and function of the elected President is to act as a unifying force. Obviously there is work that I have to do, but the most important thing for me is I would like Singaporeans to work together with me.”
Madam Halimah Yacob hasn’t been confirmed as president yet, but we’re glad to be alive in yet another defining moment in history. You go, girl.