Singapore world

Singapore Elects Indian-Origin Tharman Shanmugaratnam as President

Editor Editor
Saturday, September 02, 2023
Singapore Elects Indian-Origin Tharman Shanmugaratnam as President
Tharman Shanmugaratnam Secures Landslide Victory in Singapore's Presidential Election
Presidential candidate Tharman Shanmugaratnam  with his wife Jane Ittogi 

In a historic and resounding triumph, Tharman Shanmugaratnam, a prominent Indian-origin economist born in Singapore, has emerged victorious in the country's presidential election. This monumental win marks Singapore's first contested presidential polls since 2011 and solidifies Tharman's place as the third Indian-origin president in the nation's history.

The 66-year-old former senior minister achieved a staggering 70.4 percent of the vote, amassing 1,746,427 votes out of the 2.48 million cast. In a closely watched race, his Chinese-origin rivals, Ng Kok Song and Tan Kin Lian, garnered 15.72 percent and 13.88 percent, respectively, according to the Elections Department's official figures.

Returning Officer Tan Meng Dui announced the election results past midnight, heralding Tharman's ascent as Singapore's latest Indian-origin president.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong extended his hearty congratulations to Tharman, who had previously served as Singapore's Deputy Prime Minister from 2011 to 2019. PM Lee emphasized the significance of Tharman's new role, stating, "Singaporeans have chosen Mr. Tharman Shanmugaratnam to be our next president by a decisive margin. As head of state, he will represent us at home and abroad, and exercise custodial powers, including over the reserves and key appointments."

Lee further highlighted that this election demonstrated a deeper understanding of the president's responsibilities among both voters and candidates, signaling a positive development for Singapore's governance. He expressed confidence in Tharman's ability to perform his presidential duties with distinction.

In his victory speech delivered at Taman Jurong Food Centre, Tharman expressed his humility and gratitude for the resounding support he received. He stated, "I'm humbled by this vote - it is not just a vote for me, it is a vote for Singapore's future, a future of optimism and solidarity."

Tharman pledged to uphold the trust placed in him by the citizens, vowing to respect all Singaporeans, including those who did not cast their votes in his favor.

The People's Action Party (PAP), led by Prime Minister Lee, had endorsed Tharman in this election. Lee assured Tharman of his government's full cooperation and commended his intention to work closely with the government, emphasizing the president's role as a unifying figure.

Tharman formally launched his presidential campaign with a vision to cultivate a culture that keeps Singapore a "shining spot" on the global stage. His political journey began in 2001, and he has served in various public sector and ministerial roles with the ruling PAP for over two decades.

This presidential election witnessed over 2.7 million voters exercising their democratic right. The polling stations opened at 8 AM and closed at 8 PM local time. Incumbent President Madam Halimah Yacob's six-year term is set to conclude on September 13, marking the end of her historic tenure as Singapore's first female president.

This election also marked Singapore's first contested presidential race since 2011 and cements Tharman Shanmugaratnam's legacy as the third Indian-origin president of the nation. Singapore has previously seen two Indian-origin presidents in its history, S R Nathan and Devan Nair, who left indelible marks on the country's leadership landscape.