Halimah Yacob’s resignation letter is about why she should be President
How to sell your talents.
You might like to know that Speaker of Parliament Halimah Yacob has announced her intention to run as President of Singapore — in case you were shipwrecked or lost in the jungle these past few days.
Halimah’s resignation is required, as per Singapore’s constitution.
This is so as the President shall not hold any other office recognised by the Constitution.
If the candidate happens to be a Member of Parliament, they need to vacate the seat.
And unlike in other countries, our President must also not be a member of a political party.
Halimah serves in many different positions. Other than her role as Speaker, she also holds the following positions:
- MP of Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC.
- Member of the PAP’s Central Executive Committee.
- Chairperson of the PAP Senior’s Group.
- Chairperson of the PAP Marsiling branch.
On Aug. 7, she resigned from all these positions by submitting letters to the Prime Minister (in his role as the Secretary General of the PAP), the Deputy Speaker and the Clerk of Parliament.
You can read the following letters below, as published on her Facebook page.
While her letters to Deputy Speaker Charles Chong and Clerk of Parliament Ng Sheau Jiuan are short and to the point, her letter to PM Lee runs a little longer, coming in at two pages.
While she officially informs him of her resignation from her various party roles, she also takes the opportunity to speak a little about her history of public service and her time with the PAP.
In fact, it reads like a list of reasons for why she would make a good President. Let’s break it down for you.
Break it down
Translation: Dear PM, even though all of Singapore knew I was thinking of running for President, I wanted to test the waters first and see how people would react. Now that they’ve had some time to get used to the idea, let’s make it official.
Translation: Although I have an important job already, I’m willing to give it up for an even more important job to serve the country better.
Translation: I served in many roles. I’m not just some backbench MP, I’m an important part of the government and of the party. I have the experience and gravitas necessary to be President.
Translation: I’ve been serving the public for a long time, since before many of the voters in the upcoming election were even born. I fought for workers’ rights and have a track record of being on the side of the common man.
Translation: I have a long history of working with the unions and can likely count on their support. Don’t play play.
Translation: Former PM Goh himself asked me to become an MP. In my time as Speaker, I also demonstrated that I can be even-handed to all MPs, regardless of political party. That’s an important quality in serving as President, no?
Translation: The President has been referred to as Singapore’s Number One Diplomat by former Ambassador to the UN Tommy Koh. He or she needs to represent the country on the world stage and meet with other VIPs. But as Speaker I’ve done this before, so you all no need to worry.
Translation: Shoutout to LKY’s quote! Also, Singapore’s tradition of multi-racial harmony is great and I hope to uphold that as President.
Translation: I’ve worked hard as an MP and met with many residents during my term of service. I’ll miss seeing them, but I hope to serve them as their President.
Translation: Thanks for all the support over the years. If I win, you’re all invited to the party!
While election season has not officially begun, Halimah’s resignation letter provides an insight into how she will position herself as a candidate. Don’t be surprised if she touches upon these themes again during her campaign.
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Top image courtesy of Halimah Yacob’s Facebook page.