International News

Singapore gets its first female president, but without an election

There has been criticism over Halimah Yacob being handed the post, with some sharing posts on social media with #NotMyPresident.

Singapore on Wednesday got its first female president, but without an election. Former Speaker Halimah Yacob took over as the head of state without a vote as the government had declared the other presidential candidates ineligible to contest, AFP reported.

Citizens of the city-state took to social media to criticise the process. Some even shared posts with #NotMyPresident, borrowing from the American trend that emerged after Donald Trump’s election as the president of the United States.

Yacob’s unusual selection followed discontent over the presidential election being reserved for the Malay minority. Authorities decided to allow candidates from only one community to contest for presidency in a bid to give more opportunities to minorities.

Ethnic Chinese dominate the city-state’s 5.5 million population.

Addressing concerns over her election, Yacob said she was “a president for everyone”. “Although there’s no election, my commitment to serve you remains the same,” she said. “Every woman can aspire to the highest office in the land when you have the courage, determination and will to work hard.”

Yacob has been an MP of the ruling People’s Action Party for nearly two decades. She resigned as a parliamentarian to run for president.

We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

Children's Day is not for children alone

It’s also a time for adults to revisit their childhood.

Most adults look at childhood wistfully, as a time when the biggest worry was a scraped knee, every adult was a source of chocolate and every fight lasted only till the next playtime. Since time immemorial, children seem to have nailed the art of being joyful, and adults can learn a thing or two about stress-free living from them. Now it’s that time of the year again when children are celebrated for...simply being children, and let it serve as a timely reminder for adults to board that imaginary time machine and revisit their childhood. If you’re unable to unbuckle yourself from your adult seat, here is some inspiration.

Start small, by doodling at the back page of your to-do diary as a throwback to that ancient school tradition. If you’re more confident, you could even start your own comic strip featuring people in your lives. You can caricaturise them or attribute them animal personalities for the sake of humour. Stuck in a boring meeting? Draw your boss with mouse ears or your coffee with radioactive powers. Just make sure you give your colleagues aliases.

Pull a prank, those not resulting in revenue losses of course. Prank calls, creeping up behind someone…pull them out from your memory and watch as everyone has a good laugh. Dress up a little quirky for work. It’s time you tried those colourful ties, or tastefully mismatched socks. Dress as your favourite cartoon characters someday – it’s as easy as choosing a ponytail-style, drawing a scar on your forehead or converting a bath towel into a cape. Even dinner can be full of childish fun. No, you don’t have to eat spinach if you don’t like it. Use the available cutlery and bust out your favourite tunes. Spoons and forks are good enough for any beat and for the rest, count on your voice to belt out any pitch. Better yet, stream the classic cartoons of your childhood instead of binge watching drama or news; they seem even funnier as an adult. If you prefer reading before bedtime, do a reread of your favourite childhood book(s). You’ll be surprised by their timeless wisdom.

A regular day has scope for childhood indulgences in every nook and cranny. While walking down a lane, challenge your friend to a non-stop game of hopscotch till the end of the tiled footpath. If you’re of a petite frame, insist on a ride in the trolley as you about picking items in the supermarket. Challenge your fellow gym goers and trainers to a hula hoop routine, and beat ‘em to it!

Children have an incredible ability to be completely immersed in the moment during play, and acting like one benefits adults too. Just count the moments of precious laughter you will have added to your day in the process. So, take time to indulge yourself and celebrate life with child-like abandon, as the video below shows.

Play

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of SBI Life and not by the Scroll editorial team.