Sin­ga­pore pro­test­ers de­nounce pres­i­dency

The National - News - - NEWS | WORLD -

Hun­dreds of Sin­ga­pore­ans an­gered by the walkover vic­tory of their first fe­male pres­i­dent held a silent sit-in in a park yes­ter­day, in a rare po­lit­i­cal protest de­nounc­ing the lack of an elec­tion. Hal­imah Ya­cob, a for­mer speaker of par­lia­ment from the Malay Mus­lim mi­nor­ity, was sworn in on Thurs­day with­out a vote af­ter two ri­vals were dis­qual­i­fied from run­ning. The protest fol­lowed anger on so­cial me­dia over what crit­ics said was the en­gi­neered vic­tory of an es­tab­lish­ment fig­ure. While the role is largely cer­e­mo­nial, the pres­i­dency has veto pow­ers on key govern­ment ap­point­ments and pro­tects the coun­try’s sub­stan­tial fi­nan­cial re­serves. Ms Hal­imah is the first Malay pres­i­dent for five decades.

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