Outgoing Singapore President Extends Best Wishes to Incoming Indian-Origin President-elect, Tharman Shanmugaratnam

In her final speech as Singapore’s outgoing President, Halimah Yacob extended her heartfelt best wishes to the incoming President-elect, Tharman Shanmugaratnam, who hails from an Indian-origin background. Tharman, a Singapore-born economist, is set to be inaugurated as the ninth president of the city-state, following his overwhelming election to the nation’s highest non-political office.

Tharman secured an impressive victory, winning 70.4 percent of the 2.48 million votes cast on September 1. His Chinese-origin competitors, Ng Kok Song and Tan Kin Lian, received 15.72 percent and 13.88 percent of the votes, respectively.

Halimah, who completed her six-year term as president at the age of 69, expressed her best wishes for Tharman’s tenure in her farewell speech. She remarked that she was humbled by the trust and faith the people of Singapore had placed in her during her presidency, which fueled her determination to serve diligently.

Looking back on her term, Halimah highlighted the strong and mutually respectful relationship she had with the government, emphasizing their clear understanding of each other’s roles and responsibilities.

The farewell reception, held at the Istana (Presidential Palace), was attended by several dignitaries, including Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and the President-elect, Tharman Shanmugaratnam.

Tharman, a lifelong public servant in Singapore, garnered widespread support from the predominantly Chinese society in the city-state. Before becoming President-elect, he held key positions in the government, including Senior Minister, Coordinator for Social Policies, Chairman of the Monetary Authority of Singapore, and Deputy Prime Minister.

In addition to his domestic roles, Tharman is actively engaged in global initiatives, co-chairing the Global Commission on the Economics of Water and serving on the Board of Trustees of the World Economic Forum (WEF). He is also a member of the United Nations Secretary-General’s High-Level Advisory Board on Effective Multilateralism.

Singapore has previously had two Indian-origin presidents, including S R Nathan and Devan Nair, who made significant contributions during their respective terms in office.

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