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Yacob is Singapore's first ethnic Malay president in 47 years.

Halimah Yacob was named president on Wednesday without having to face an election for the mostly ceremonial position after government authorities concluded her rivals did not meet the presidency's eligibility criteria.

"I'm still staying in Yishun", said Madam Halimah Yacob, 63, when asked where she would be living after becoming president.

Singaporeans on Tuesday poured scorn on the process to select their new president, an establishment figure, deemed the only eligible candidate, meaning no election will be held. Halimah was, until recently, a loyal member of the ruling PAP, which dominates Singaporean politics. However, the candidates needed to comply with new rules about providing minorities with representation in the Chinese-majority Singapore. Yacob was Speaker of Parliament for three years, from 2013 until she stepped down in August 2017. For example, those from the private sector are required to be a chief executive of a company, with at least $370 million in shareholders' equity.

Singapore is only days away from electing it's first female president.

Halima was the only one of three candidates to get a "certificate of eligibility" to run in the September 23 election, that had been reserved only for ethnic Malays.

It was not the first time in the affluent city-state - which is tightly controlled and has been ruled by the same party for decades - that the government has disqualified presidential candidates, making an election unnecessary.

Malays, who form just over 13 percent of Singapore's 3.9 million citizens and permanent residents, also underperform on measures such as university and secondary school education.

Yet the reserved election has also injured some pride.

Yacob is the second Malay to become president after Yusof Ishak who became president in 1965 after the country became independent.

Yacob was born in 1954 to a Muslim Indian-origin father and a Malay mother.

He said his party hoped the statement would not be misconstrued by "racists and religious extremists from certain political parties" that the DAP was lobbying for non-Muslims to hold the highest office in Malaysia such as the prime minister.

"I think that it is more important to focus on removing barriers and improving the lot of the man on the street rather than reserving slots for one or two individuals".


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