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Thread: "Halimah Yacob announces bid to be Singapore's next President" - Channel NewsAsia

  1. #101
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    Default Re: "Halimah Yacob announces bid to be Singapore's next President" - Channel NewsAsia

    Quote Originally Posted by Leckmichamarsch View Post
    How come Ahmad Mattar does not surface to throw in his hat? LHL got him by the balls?
    Then the annual pink dot event can be held at istana instead of HongLim Green.

  2. #102
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    Default Re: "Halimah Yacob announces bid to be Singapore's next President" - Channel NewsAsia

    He already has too many jobs - doctor, driver and policeman. He has no time for one more.

    Quote Originally Posted by Leckmichamarsch View Post
    How come Ahmad Mattar does not surface to throw in his hat? LHL got him by the balls?

  3. #103
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    Default Re: "Halimah Yacob announces bid to be Singapore's next President" - Channel NewsAsia

    Quote Originally Posted by jw5 View Post
    He already has too many jobs - doctor, driver and policeman. He has no time for one more.
    doctor?.................PhD in acoustics study while pap minister
    like pundek did her masturbate in ntuc....................................lots of free but dare claim served pp;e for 40 ears

  4. #104
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    Default Re: "Halimah Yacob announces bid to be Singapore's next President" - Channel NewsAsia

    His field of study would surely have helped him greatly in his favourite portfolio - the environment.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pek Kim Lui View Post
    doctor?.................PhD in acoustics study while pap minister
    like pundek did her masturbate in ntuc....................................lots of free but dare claim served pp;e for 40 ears

  5. #105
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    Default Re: "Halimah Yacob announces bid to be Singapore's next President" - Channel NewsAsia

    LHL may have totally forgotten about him.

    Quote Originally Posted by Leckmichamarsch View Post
    How come Ahmad Mattar does not surface to throw in his hat? LHL got him by the balls?

  6. #106
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    Default Re: "Halimah Yacob announces bid to be Singapore's next President" - Channel NewsAsia

    Quote Originally Posted by jw5 View Post
    LHL may have totally forgotten about him.
    How about, "yakult"??...the "ponding" man...??

  7. #107
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    Default Re: "Halimah Yacob announces bid to be Singapore's next President" - Channel NewsAsia

    LHL has other "important" things for Yakult to do.

    Quote Originally Posted by halsey02 View Post
    How about, "yakult"??...the "ponding" man...??

  8. #108
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    Default Re: "Halimah Yacob announces bid to be Singapore's next President" - Channel NewsAsia

    They can also consider holding it at Oxley Road.

    Quote Originally Posted by bobby View Post
    Then the annual pink dot event can be held at istana instead of HongLim Green.

  9. #109
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    Default Re: "Halimah Yacob announces bid to be Singapore's next President" - Channel NewsAsia

    PE2017: Interview with Madam Halimah Yacob

    From MSN news



    by Bertha Henson

    MADAM Halimah Yacob greeted me by telling me I looked thinner than when she last saw me, which was sometime in 2002. Needless to say, that put me in a good mood, which gradually evaporated as we engaged in a one-hour intellectual wrestling exercise arguing with each other over the concept of meritocracy and multiracialism in the Singapore context.

    It got so tense that at one point she exclaimed: “Bertha! You’re biased!’’. I conceded that I am and that I have never made any bones about my opposition to the concept of a reserved presidency. I told her I would declare this in the interview piece about her. So there you have it… my declaration!

    I suppose Madam Halimah was put in an invidious position. She had declared that she will contest in the coming presidential election, and there I was, asking her to respond to questions which in effect, undermined her coming candidacy.

    I argued that the cards had been stacked in her favour, as the election was only open to Malays. She argued that candidates in a reserved election still needed to fulfil the same qualifying criteria as an open election to run, hence fulfilling the meritocracy element. I suggested that this still meant depriving the population of a choice from a wider range of candidates.

    Her response: “That issue was already debated in parliament Bertha. I mean you are taking part in the process. It’s already been determined by the constitution. Decided by parliament. There will always be people who don’t like it, people who don’t mind it. That is the essence of democracy. We have to accept people with different views.”

    I referred to how the private sector requirements for candidacy seemed more stringent than those for the public sector. They had to have a $500 million shareholder equity, up from $100 million paid-up capital before the 2016 amendments. DPM Teo had said in Parliament last November that “there are significantly more companies” today that meet the revised criteria compared to the 158 companies that met the threshold in 1993, when the first Presidential election was held. But the relevant question is the number of such companies run by Malays. On the other hand, Madam Halimah qualified because of her four year experience as a Speaker. The automatic cut off for public sector appointments is three years of experience.

    Her response: “I really can’t answer because as I said, the criteria is there, it’s transparent. I mean I’m taking part in a system that’s been set up you see.”

    I mean I’m taking part in a system that’s been set up you see.

    She stuck to her guns about how the multiracial office was not a new concept, starting from the days the late Mr Yusof Ishak was Singapore’s first President. A Malay in the top office would also show the world that Singapore is a multiracial country. Nor did she think the reserved presidency concept amounted to affirmative action which she saw as lowering the bar for a group of people.

    What is to prevent people from saying that other positions of authority should also be rotated, I asked.

    Her response: “Perhaps because to some extent we look at the functions of the president… that’s the important ceremonial function of unifying people.”

    You could see her brains moving at top speed as she answered every single question, some not quite directly, but always with a smile. There were answers that went along the lines of “I can’t speak for others’’, “That’s a different matter altogether’’, “Those are people’s perceptions’’, and “Everyone can have their point of view’’.

    It was not so much an interview than a conversation that we had. She was caught off-guard when asked about the decision to delay the entrenchment of provisions on the presidency in the Constitution, which would require a referendum for any future amendment to go through. She started by saying that the issue had been extensively discussed in Parliament and the Constitutional Commission had also noted that it wouldn’t be easy to amend the provisions if they had already been entrenched. I said the commission had also suggested the Parliament be alerted regularly to decide if they should be entrenched. She said that was for the G to think about.

    There was a whiff of resignation from her as she spoke of always being faced with contradictory opinions, such as people asking her why she didn’t announce her intention to run earlier or why it wasn’t done after Dr Tan Cheng Bock’s court appeal verdict was out.

    As far as she was concerned, the presidential election will go on, be it a reserved one or an open one. Having said she would run, she would do so whatever the outcome of the appeal.

    Asked if she would think about running if it weren’t a reserved election in the first place, she replied: “I entered this election with only one objective and one goal and that is to serve Singapore and Singaporeans. That’s very important. So at that point of time when I decided to take part, it was a reserved election. If subsequently the court says no it’s not a reserved election, must be open, then I continue… The decision to take part is the same. The processes are the same.”

    You can say that we were talking in circles. But her bottomline appeared to be this: People must have faith in the “system’’, which went through the parliamentary process and had been proposed by a G which had delivered 52 years of progress. She was working within this system – and people can put their faith in her.

    She said: “You must have some faith in the government, in the system, because if any government resorts to this, just to bulldoze their way, you think that will come across nicely to the people? Will that not affect the credibility of the government?”

    Madam Halimah also said that some people were “reading too much’’ into things and making all sorts of “conjectures’’. I don’t think she quite liked my response that she should answer them because she was after all, gunning for votes, including votes from people with conjectures.

    WE WERE on the 12th floor of NTUC Centre in Marina Boulevard with members of her media team. The former Speaker of Parliament has made it her base. Since her announcement on Aug 6, the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) has come out in support of her. More organisations from the social services sector and women’s groups are expected to back her given her long history of public service. She told us that the Catholic Canossian sisters and the deacon of City Harvest church had also voiced their support.

    Madam Halimah, 62, has been in the labour movement for 33 years. She joined NTUC after graduating with a law degree from the University of Singapore (now NUS) in 1978 and rose through the ranks to head various departments before becoming NTUC’s assistant secretary-general in 1999. She was executive secretary of the electronics and electrical industries union from 2004 to 2011, and the deputy secretary-general of NTUC from 2007 to 2011. In between, she found time to graduate with a Master of Laws degree from NUS in 2001 and raise five children who are now between 26 and 35-years old.

    She entered politics when she was elected as an MP for Jurong GRC in 2001 and served three terms there, becoming known for her well-articulated views as a backbencher, like the time in 2007 when she raised concerns about amendments to the Human Organ Transplant Act in Parliament. She had abstained from the vote.

    In 2011, she became Minister of State for the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports (MCYS) and later for the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) before stepping down to become the first female Speaker of Parliament in 2013. In 2015, Madam Halimah left Jurong GRC and contested the seat at Marsiling-Yew Tee instead.

    President Tony Tan’s term ends on Aug 31. So, it’s likely that the writ of election will be issued in the coming two weeks. Within five days of its issuance, prospective candidates must submit applications to the Presidential Elections Committee (PEC) and the Community Committee to get the certificate of eligibility and community certificate respectively. The latter certifies their ethnicity.

    Two other prospects have thrown their hats into the ring. The chief executive of Second Chance Properties, Mr Salleh Marican, 67, announced his intentions on Jun 5. Just over a month later on Jul 11, Mr Farid Khan, 62, chairman of marine service provider Bourbon Offshore Asia Pacific, declared that he too will contest the election.

    Madam Halimah does not know Mr Marican and Mr Farid personally. As for talk that they could be disqualified because they do not fulfil the private sector criteria for candidates to automatically qualify, she made clear that it was for the PEC to decide.

    I asked if she would miss the leeway she has now to talk about politics and policy since the president should not do so. She said that she would be entering a “different role’’.

    She has been busy with handover issues since her announcement, she said. Besides her Speaker post, she has stepped down as an MP of the four-member Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC. The G has said there would be no by-election. MP Zaqy Mohamed, from neighbouring Chua Chu Kang GRC, has stepped in as adviser to Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC Grassroots Organisation. She also has other public engagements which she had agreed to while she was still the Speaker. Then there was the matter of getting data for the presidential qualification papers.

    She was careful with her answers, such as not wanting to say who her “favourite’’ president was, since they each have different strengths. What she did let on was that she would continue with the “tone’’ set by President S R Nathan, who launched the President’s Challenge to raise money for charity, a practice continued by President Tony Tan.

    She was careful when asked if her status as a Muslim woman who wears the tudung would subject her to pressures from those in the community who were for – or against – the use of the garb. The issue has been publicly discussed and will continue to be discussed, she said. There was, after all, a Muslim Affairs Minister who has the responsibility of dealing with the question.

    She was also asked if she would do as Mr Farid said he would if elected: Counter the radicalisation of Muslims. She seemed bewildered that he would make such an announcement given that these are matters best handled by the Home Affairs ministry and the authorities.

    Madam Halimah, who was given a list of questions beforehand to peruse a few days before the interview, was prepared especially for questions about her ability to execute the role of custodian of the nation’s reserves.

    There have been comments about Madam Halimah’s former appointment as Speaker and whether that necessarily meant she could handle big organisations or big money.

    To which she said: “As Speaker, I had to preside over budget debates… I have to table the budget. Millions of dollars for the members to support or not support. So I have to follow all that debates, I have to understand… If I don’t understand, what am I asking the members to vote on at the end of the day?”

    If I don’t understand, what am I asking the members to vote on at the end of the day?

    Then there was her stint as Minister of State from 2011 to 2013, first at MCYS and later at MSF where she had to run “multimillion dollar” projects; not just rubber stamp the budgets of civil servants.

    And that her various roles in the labour movement through the years required her to make “prudent use” of union funds – which all members contribute to annually. Big decisions had to be taken whether it was in her capacity as deputy secretary-general of the NTUC from 2007 to 2011 or executive secretary of the 80,000-member strong United Workers of Electronics and Electrical Industries (UWEEI) from 2004 to 2011, among other things.

    More than understanding balance sheets and financial reports, she said, the President requires “judgement” on how the decisions made would affect Singaporeans, their jobs, the economy, and so on, to perform the custodial role well. So the “understanding of public policy making” is “also very critical”. And she has “quite a lot of exposure” to policy making.

    She cited one example when as executive secretary of the UWEEI, she had to talk to the G about looking into a package (Resilience Package) to “save jobs” during the financial crisis which started in 2008. In January 2009, President Nathan gave the G approval to draw on $4.9 billion of reserves to fund the Jobs Credit Scheme and the Special Risk-Sharing Initiative. Her union “was the first union” that reached out to companies to take on the package because she “understood the importance of that package”, the need to tap into the reserves for the scheme “to save companies, save jobs”. “I was a part of that process so I know.”

    Judgement and fiscal responsibilities aside, the President also represents Singapore overseas. As a woman and a tudung wearing Muslim, would the world’s perception of Singapore change? It’s an issue that arose when she became Speaker. But there was no problem when she led parliamentary delegations overseas. In fact, there was plenty of good will. To be sure, she is no newbie on the international stage. She was the first Singaporean to sit on the governing body of the International Labour Organisation from 1999 to 2011.

    “But apart from that I think people know that we are a multiracial society and then they see that you have someone from the minority community… [they realise] that we don’t just talk about it, we actually practise it.”

    We ended our interview/conversation on a light note, with her telling us about how MPs stared daggers at her for moving parliamentary matters on in the House instead of calling for a break.

    As she laughed cheerily, I wondered whether the “system’’ she was working within was fair to her. Even if she competed against a slate of non-Malays in an open election, she would have pulled in the votes, from both Malays and non-Malays.

    It remains for us now to wish Madam Halimah the best in this coming election.

  10. #110
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    Default Re: "Halimah Yacob announces bid to be Singapore's next President" - Channel NewsAsia

    Very much looking like a 1 horse run already.....

  11. #111
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    Default Re: "Halimah Yacob announces bid to be Singapore's next President" - Channel NewsAsia

    Quote Originally Posted by bobby View Post
    Very much looking like a 1 horse run already.....
    As if you do not know?...it is a rigged race in the first place...the other two 'outsiders' are just roped in to make it looking like, there are other's who are suitable & running too. Only stupid people cheer for this 1 horse race....

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    Default Re: "Halimah Yacob announces bid to be Singapore's next President" - Channel NewsAsia

    Quote Originally Posted by halsey02 View Post
    As if you do not know?...it is a rigged race in the first place...the other two 'outsiders' are just roped in to make it looking like, there are other's who are suitable & running too. Only stupid people cheer for this 1 horse race....
    Exactly...most democracies have what we called a "free election".

    Only in SG, we have "reserved election", plus terms and conditions....WTF is that?

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