JY Pillay has been appointed as the acting President of Singapore
Pillay, also the Chairman of the Council of Presidential Advisers, is a veteran civil servant of Indian Origin
The Singapore polls take place on 23rd September
September 2, 2017: Indian-origin veteran civil servant JY Pillay on Friday took over as Singapore’s acting President until a new head of the state is elected later this month.
The temporary appointment of Pillay, Chairman of the Council of Presidential Advisers (CPA), follows the completion of President Tony Tan Keng Yam’s six-year term on Thursday, the Strait Times reported.
The nomination day for the Presidential election is September 13, followed by polling day on September 23.
According to the report, when the office of President is vacant, the first in line to exercise its powers is the CPA Chairman, followed by the Speaker of Parliament. This is the first time the office has fallen vacant since the elected presidency was introduced in 1991.
Pillay is no stranger to exercising the powers of the President. As CPA Chairman since 2005, he has been acting President each time the President goes on an overseas trip. He acted as President in May, when Tan made state visits to Europe.
He has served more than 60 such “stints”– the longest of which was 16 days in April and May of 2007 when then President SR Nathan visited Africa. (IANS)
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Singapore, September 13, 2017 : Halimah Yacob became on Wednesday the first woman President of Singapore, being the only candidate who met the requirements for the presidential elections.
However, Yacob’s selection was overshadowed by criticism that it was undemocratic to give her the top post without a vote. Halimah Yacob, a 63-year-old Muslim of Malay descent, will take her oath of office on Thursday in a ceremony due to be held in Istana, the presidential residence and office, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s office said.
Yacob was the only presidential hopeful among three potential candidates to qualify for the post. This year’s election was reserved for Malay candidates. Two other contenders, businessmen Mohamed Salleh Marican and Farid Khan, did not meet one of the minimum requirements to run, Channel NewsAsia reported.
Yacob, accompanied by her husband and greeted by about 750 supporters, spoke outside the People’s Association building and called for unity in a speech delivered in English and Malay.
“We need every Singaporean to stand together shoulder to shoulder … we have not reached the peak yet and the best is yet to come,” Yacob said, urging citizens to “focus on the similarities that we have and not on the differences.”
In 2016, Singapore’s Parliament approved a constitutional reform which stipulated that the presidential elections would be reserved for one of the ethnicities of the multicultural city-state if no candidate from this group has occupied the post in the previous 30 years.
“I am a President for everyone,” said Halimah Yacob, whose post is more representative than executive.
Yacob was born in 1954 to a Muslim Indian-origin father and a Malay mother.
The mother of five started her political career with the People’s Action Party (PAP), which has been governing the country since 1959, and entered the Parliament in 2001.
She secured her first portfolio in 2011, as State Minister of Community Development, Youth and Sports, and became the Speaker of Parliament in 2013.
In August 2017, Halimah Yacob stepped down as Speaker and resigned from the PAP to be able to run for President. (IANS)
An Indian origin CEO says he was racially abused and was told to “go back” to India
He refused to defend US President Donald Trump’s economic agenda following the racial violence in Virginia
He said he will speak out against such abuse as long as he has a platform to do so
Washington, August 24, 2017: An Indian origin CEO says he was racially abused and was told to “go back” to India and also take along top Indian-American diplomat Nikki Haley after he refused to defend US President Donald Trump’s economic agenda following the racial violence in Virginia.
Ravin Gandhi, founder, and CEO of GMM Nonstick Coatings, a global supplier of coatings for cookware and bakeware, penned an op-ed for CNBC following the Charlottesville racial violence but in response was slammed and racially abused by readers, the Chicago Tribune reported.
At least one woman was killed and dozens were injured in Charlottesville last week during clashes between white supremacists and counter-protestors at a rally. Trump, instead of blaming white supremacists, held both sides responsible for the violence and was criticised by both Democrats and Republicans for the response.
“I recently told the New York Times I was ‘rooting’ for certain aspects of Trump’s economic agenda,” Gandhi, 44, wrote in the article.
“After Charlottesville and its aftermath, I will not defend Trump even if the Dow hits 50,000, unemployment goes to 1 per cent, and GDP grows by 7 per cent… I will not in good conscience support a President who seems to hate Americans who don’t look like him.
“The fact that Trump equated hate groups with those protesting hate lit me up,” Gandhi said. “His moral leadership on this issue is reprehensible.”
US-born Gandhi, after his op-ed was published, received a voicemail from an alleged Trump supporter, who told him to “get your (expletive) garbage and go back to India”.
“You can take that other half-(expletive) Bangladesh creep with you, Nikki Haley,” the woman said in the message.
“She’s the one that started all this when she took down the Confederate flag. So don’t tell us that you gave him a chance. We don’t give an (expletive) who you gave a chance, OK? We’re going to start taking down Buddhist statues and see how you and Nikki Haley like that.”
The caller told Gandhi to “go clean up your own (expletive) country, it’s a filthy mess”.
He soon posted the voicemail on the social media and also shared the nastier emails he received, the report said.
“It was obvious that people thought my professional position somewhat protected me,” he said. “I wanted to show people that racism is blind to socioeconomics.
“Even though my race is a complete non-issue in my day-to-day life, the sad reality is there’s a group of racists in the USA that views me as a second-class citizen,” he said.
“I wanted my peers in the business community, the civic community, my friend community to see that this can happen to me. Because there’s this delusion that racism is dead because (Barack) Obama was elected (President),” Gandhi said.
He said while his sharing a “bigoted” voicemail may not make a big difference, he will speak out against such abuse as long as he has a platform to do so. (IANS)