Halimah Yacob

8th President of Singapore

Halimah binti Yacob (Jawi: حاليمه بنت ياچوب; born 23 August 1954) is a Singaporean politician[1] She is the 8th President of Singapore since September 2017.[2] Before, she was the Speaker of Parliament between 2013 until 2017.

Halimah Yacob
حليمة بنت يعقوب
Republic of Singapore President Halimah Yacob witnesses the program proper during her visit to the Philippine Eagle Center in Davao City on September 11, 2019 (cropped).jpg
8th President of Singapore
Assumed office
14 September 2017
Prime MinisterLee Hsien Loong
Preceded byTony Tan Keng Yam
Speaker of Parliament
In office
14 January 2013 – 7 August 2017
DeputyCharles Chong
Lim Biow Chuan
Preceded byMichael Palmer
Succeeded byTan Chuan-Jin
Personal details
Born (1954-08-23) 23 August 1954 (age 68)
Political partyPeople's Action Party (2001–2017)
Independent (2017–present)
Spouse(s)Mohammed Abdullah Alhabshee
EducationNational University of Singapore (LLB, LLM)

Early lifeEdit

Halimah is an Indian Muslim as her father[3] is also an Indian Muslim. She has Malay blood.[4] Her father was a guard. He died of a heart attack when she was eight. So she and her four siblings grew up with their mother.[4][5][6] Her family was poor. She helped her mother sell nasi padang outside the Singapore Polytechnic (now Bestway Building) along Prince Edward Road.[7][8]

Halimah went to Singapore Chinese Girls' School and Tanjong Katong Girls' School.[8] She then went to the University of Singapore and got a Bachelor of Laws in 1978. In 1981, she went to the Singapore Bar. In 2001, she completed an Master of Laws at the National University of Singapore (NUS). She got an honorary Doctor of Laws by NUS on 7 July 2016.[9]

Political careerEdit

Yacob was a member of the country's governing People's Action Party (PAP), she was the ninth Speaker of Parliament,[10] from January 2013 to August 2017. She was a Member of Parliament (MP) representing Jurong Group Representation Constituency between 2001 and 2015, and Marsiling-Yew Tee Group Representation Constituency between 2015 and 2017. On 7 August 2017, she resigned from her positions as Speaker and MP, and from her membership in the PAP, to stand as a candidate for the 2017 Singapore presidential election.[11]


In the 2017 presidential election, Yacob was the only candidate, thus winning the election.[12]

President Halimah started off her statement by reminding people that COVID-19, is a huge threat, and that contamination is picking up rapidly in other parts of Asia. The number of COVID-19 cases in Singapore had been on the rise and imported cases will continue to be a concern.[13]


  1. "Mdm Halimah Yacob", Singapore Parliament, archived from the original on 16 November 2016, retrieved 21 May 2011
  2. U-Wen, Lee. "Halimah Yacob declared president-elect after walkover victory". Retrieved 13 September 2017.
  3. Long, Susan (25 January 2013). "New Speaker of Parliament Halimah Yacob tells Susan Long how she went from selling pushcart nasi padang and almost getting expelled from school to one of the highest offices in the land". The Straits Times.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Rajan, Uma (June 28, 2016). "To Singapore with Love...". In Pillai, Gopinath & Kesavapany, Krishnasamy (eds.). 50 Years of Indian Community in Singapore. World Scientific Publishing Co. p. 107. ISBN 978-9-813-14058-5. Notable female politicians include Dhanam Avadai, PAP Member for Moulmein (1965–1968), lawyer Indranee Rajah, the current Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Law and Ministry of Education, and Indian-origin politician Halimah Yacob, former Minister and current Speaker of Parliament.
  5. Cheam, Jessica (January 10, 2013). "A strong advocate for workers, women and minorities". The Straits Times. Singapore. Archived from the original on July 21, 2017. Retrieved July 21, 2017. Her Indian-Muslim father was a watchman who died when she was eight years old.
  6. Tham, Yuen-C (July 17, 2017). "More consultation needed before my decision to run for president: Halimah Yacob". The Straits Times. Singapore. Archived from the original on July 17, 2017. Retrieved July 21, 2017. She added that her father, who died when she was eight years old, was born in Singapore, and she was brought up by her Malay mother.
  7. Chang, Clarence (25 October 2006). "'I feared for my life'". New Paper. Factiva.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Mokhtar, Faris (18 August 2017). "Mom's the inspiration for former Speaker". Today (newspaper). Retrieved 24 November 2017.
  9. Lim, Yan Liang (7 July 2016). "Halimah Yacob conferred honorary Doctor of Laws degree by NUS". Straits Times. Retrieved 7 July 2016.
  10. "Halimah Yacob Became First Woman Speaker of the Singapore Parliament". Jagran Josh. 16 January 2013. Retrieved 16 January 2013.
  11. "PM Lee accepts Halimah Yacob's resignation from the PAP". Channel NewsAsia. 7 August 2017. Archived from the original on 7 August 2017. Retrieved 7 August 2017.
  12. "Who is Halimah Yacob, Singapore's first lady/Female President?". ipo gmp. Retrieved 2020-04-04.[permanent dead link]
  13. "COVID-19 is a huge threat". Channel NewsAsia. Archived from the original on 2020-03-23. Retrieved 2020-04-04.