SINGAPORE: Tharman Shanmugaratnam was sworn in at the Istana on Thursday (Sep 14) as Singapore’s ninth President, two weeks after his landslide election victory.
Mr Tharman took his oath of office at the State Room of the Istana, in front of guests that included former presidents Halimah Yacob and Tony Tan, as well as members of the Cabinet.
Mr Tharman, a former Senior Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, won 70.41 per cent of the vote in the Sep 1 election, including overseas ballots. Former GIC chief investment officer Ng Kok Song received 15.72 per cent of the vote while former NUTC Income Tan Kin Lian garnered 13.87 per cent.
The role of the Singapore President includes being the custodian of the nation’s past reserves and ensuring the integrity of its public service. He or she is also a symbol and unifier of a diverse and multi-racial Singapore.
Earlier, a farewell ceremony was held for Madam Halimah, whose six-year term in office ended on Wednesday.
In his inauguration speech, President Tharman swore to be “scrupulous and independent” in making judgements on Singapore’s reserves.
He also promised to work with the government, community groups, voluntary organisations and the entire nation to strengthen Singapore’s multiracialism, and nurture a more inclusive society, with the “strong mandate” voters have given him.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said Singaporeans have chosen a candidate who is “eminently qualified for this high office”.
He added that the Sep 1 Presidential Election also showed that race was a “smaller factor now than it used to be” for Singaporeans.
Source : CNA