Angry react only: A Halimah Yacob walkover induces palpable angry reactions

She will never know if she will fare better than Tony Tan in an election.

Belmont Lay |Yeo Kaiqi | September 12, 2017 @ 11:14 pm


Halimah Yacob was named as the sole presidential election aspirant eligible to run for office on Sept. 11, 2017, exactly two years after the 2015 General Election.

This indicates a walkover for PE2017 and Singaporeans are yet again reminded of the strong 70 percent mandate they handed the People’s Action Party in GE2015, while being denied the chance to go to the polls this year.


A combination of these factors, plus the fact that the PE2017 has been set aside for Malay candidates to contest, sees Halimah’s campaign ending up bearing the brunt of substantial public backlash.

On Sept. 14, 2017, a day after Nomination Day, she is set to become a president without the knowledge if she would ever fare better than her predecessor Tony Tan who managed 35.2 percent of votes.

Angry Facebook reactions

And the evidence of the backlash against her and a walkover is evident on social media.

Articles shared by the mainstream media in Singapore about Halimah since Sept. 11 evening after her eligibility was announced have been met with substantial angry reactions.

Do note that angry reactions occur on average about less than one quarter of the time, especially for news that elicit strong emotions, such as tragedies.

This is according to a study across 20 large United States publishers, where angry was the fourth-most used reaction.

In news related to Halimah since Sept. 11, the Facebook angry reaction has been consistently the second-most used after the default Facebook Like.

For example, when the news first broke that only Halimah is eligible to run for office, there were 668 Likes and 551 angry reactions.

The proportion can be as high as 40 percent in some instances for news on Halimah.

Here are some examples from The Straits Times, Today, Lianhe Zaobao, Channel 8 News and Channel News Asia.

The Straits Times

Halimah Yacob set to be next president (Sept. 12, 12.02pm)

Likes: 150
Angry: 118


Happy for Halimah, but disappointed at no-contest (Sept. 12, 8.18am)

Likes: 307
Angry: 213


Halimah Yacob set to be Singapore’s first female president: A timeline of her career (Sept. 11, 10.27pm)

Likes: 1K
Angry: 369


Video (Sept. 11, 7.58pm)

Likes: 600
Angry: 419


Facebook Live video (Sept. 11, 6.05pm)

Likes: 538
Angry: 307


Breaking news update (Sept. 11, 5.08pm)

Likes: 668
Angry: 551


WATCH: Mdm Halimah Yacob speaks to the media (Sept. 11, 6.31pm)

Likes: 186
Angry: 179


Halimah set to be named S’pore’s next president (Sept. 11, 5.34pm)

Likes: 858
Angry: 392


BREAKING: Madam Halimah Yacob is set to be first woman president of Singapore (Sept. 11, 5.13pm)

Likes: 1.2K
Angry: 461

Lianhe Zaobao

Halimah Yacob receives the sole Certificate of Eligibility (Sept. 12, 7.33pm)

Likes: 39
Angry: 25


2017 Presidential Elections Special Programme (Sept. 11, 7.55pm)

Likes: 99
Angry: 94


Halimah Yacob arrives outside the Elections Department to receive the Certificate of Eligibility (video)

Likes: 184
Angry: 150


Only one candidate gets the Certificate of Eligibility (Sept. 11, 6.04pm)

Likes: 117
Angry: 64

Channel 8 News

Political analyst: Voters may be disappointed with the elections, but Halimah’s sole eligibility was expected (Sept. 12, 2017, 8.31am)

Likes: 186
Angry: 77


Halimah arrives at the Elections Department to collect her Certificate of Eligibility (Sept. 11, 7.45pm)

Likes: 126
Angry: 45


Halimah accepts interview outside the Elections Department (Video) (Sept. 11, 6.06pm)

Likes: 27
Angry: 19


Halimah answers media queries outside the Elections Department (Video) (Sept. 11, 6.06pm)

Likes: 54
Angry: 40


Only one candidate gets the Certificate of Eligibility (Sept. 11, 5.08pm)

Likes: 248
Angry: 95

Channel News Asia

“This is a journey that we must take together and I want to invite all Singaporeans to come together to work with me”: Halimah Yacob (Video) (Sept. 11, 7.00pm)

Likes: 2K
Angry: 660


‘I promise to do the best that I can to serve the people of Singapore’: Halimah Yacob (Sept. 11, 6.47pm)

Likes: 742
Angry: 364


Mdm Halimah Yacob after being issued a Certificate of Eligibility (Sept. 11, 6.06pm)

Likes: 2.9K
Angry: 1.2K


HAPPENING NOW: Madam Halimah Yacob arriving at Elections Department to collect Certificate of Eligibility (Sept. 11, 6.06pm)

Likes: 431
Angry: 177


PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION WALKOVER: Only Madam Halimah Yacob will be issued with both the Certificate of Eligibility and the Malay Community Certificate (Sept. 11, 5.09pm)

Likes: 1.7K
Angry: 985


BREAKING: No contest for Singapore Presidential Election – only Madam Halimah Yacob is approved to stand (Sept. 11, 5.05pm)

Like: 2.6K
Angry: 1.3K

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