A Hijabi just became the 1st woman president in Singapore's history

Halimah Yacob addresses reporters outside the Elections Department on Monday

Halimah Yacob addresses reporters outside the Elections Department on Monday

Yacob actually served as parliament speaker since 2013 and until August 2017. But she has seldom spoken publicly on the issue and there is little sign of change in official attitudes.

The Returning Officer, Energy Market Authority chief executive Ng Wai Choong, will declare her the elected President on Nomination Day on Wednesday. She will be sworn in at a later date.

"I will serve Singapore and Singaporeans with great passion and commitment".

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The presidency is largely a ceremonial position. An Independent Commission appointed by the Elected President should look into every attempt of amendment made to the Constitution and the Elected President should also be vested with Veto power to such amendment with the advice of the Commission.

In 2016, Singapore's parliament decided that the post of president will be reserved for a candidate from a particular racial group if no one from that group has been president for five continuous terms, or 30 years.

Singaporeans on Tuesday poured scorn on the process to select their new president after an establishment figure was deemed the only eligible candidate, meaning no election will be held.

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He also said Halimah had succeeded where even the United States had failed in electing its first woman president when former first lady Hillary Clinton lost to Donald Trump in the U.S. presidential election in November a year ago.

Singapore's area is only around 710 square kilometers, and its population is less than 6 million but despite its small area, it is the fourth leading financial center in the world.

Ethnically, Singapore is 74 percent Chinese, 13 percent Malay, 9 percent Indian and 3.2 percent are classified as "other". Tan had narrowly lost the previous presidential election in 2011 to Tony Tan, a former deputy prime minister widely recognized as the government-favored candidate, and planned to run again. "And when that happens, it's very important to ensure we do not allow it to destroy our cohesion, or to have tensions between the various communities", he was quoted as saying by The Straits Times newspaper. That meant that this year's election was reserved for someone from Singapore's minority Malay community. He received 35 per cent of around 2.1 million votes.

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"The election could have provided a wonderful opportunity for Singaporeans to better understand the reserved election mechanism and to exercise their democratic choice".

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