Singapore’s first woman president

Photo Credit: South China Morning Post

Madam Halimah Yacob became Singapore’s first female President. Yacob is a 63-year-old woman from the local Malay community. She has been a member of Parliament for almost 20 years. She served as the first Parliament Speaker but had to leave that job to run for President.

She was sworn in as Singapore’s 8th President on Thursday, September 14. She won 2 weeks before the election was suppose to be held! Her term will last for 6 years.

What kind of government does Singapore have?  Singapore has a parliamentary form of government where the President doesn’t have that much power. Members of Parliament run the government and make the big decisions.

Wait a second: What happened to the other candidates? How did she win before an election? Two other people wanted to run in the election against Yacob but they were disqualified. Potential candidates have to meet a list of critieria set out in the Constitution. Unfortunately, the candidates didn’t meet this criteria.

Presidential hopefuls: Mdm Halimah Yacob; Mr Salleh Marican and Mr Farid Khan.

Both these other candidates ran private businesses. Amongst many rules, there is a rule that says private citizens running for office must own a large share of a profitable business. Unfortunately the other two contenders were successful, but not successful enough to qualify to stand for the Office of President!

Who votes for the President of Singapore? The citizens vote for the candidates. The candidates are chosen by the Election department of the government.

Why was this a reserved election? There was an important constitutional amendment made in 2016. The government wants to ensure that Singapore remains a multi religious and multi racial community. The new rule says that if no one from one of the larger communities (Chinese, Indian, Malay and such)  in Singapore has been the President for any of the five most recent terms of office (i.e. the last 30 years!) the new President must be chosen from that community. This year, officials decided the job would go to someone from the Malay community. These are a local group of people from around the country of Singapore.

Some people were unhappy that Yacob won without a vote. They called the decision unfair and undemocratic. However, Yacob promised to work for all the people of Singapore.

Spread the love
No Comments Yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Write to us at

Help us keep currentkids, current! We’d love to hear about your crazy adventures and experiences. Send us your pictures, travel diaries, thoughts on cool new gadgets, gaming experiences and anything else you find interesting!

About Us

Welcome to our entertaining and empowering news source for kids with inquisitive minds! This is a digital space that keeps kids aged 8 and above (and your families!) connected to what’s happening in the world. We filter a wide variety of news, events, and interesting bits of trivia to develop short, relevant, unbiased content in creative formats. We give everyone something to relate to and get engaged with in short bytes of information with a snappy, chatty feel. We believe in encouraging curiosity, creativity and continued learning in our safe digital space.

Why is reading non-fiction important?

This helps curious minds to learn more about the outside world. It also enriches their vocabulary and their general knowledge. Simplified news helps children to express their opinions easily with their friends and family and gives them some perspective on complex issues. Our safe news website will give you parents a useful tool with which to navigate the digital world with your children.

We hope you enjoy our posts!

Biyash & Sunaina

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter and stay current!


You have successfully subscribed to the newsletter

There was an error while trying to send your request. Please try again.