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Halimah Yacob is Singapore’s First Woman President, Elected Without a Vote

"I am a President for everyone," said the newly elected Halimah Yacob, whose post is more representative than executive

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Halimah Yacob
Halimah Yacob who was the only candidate to get eligibility certificate, is now set to be Singapore's next President Wikimedia
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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)

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The Building of Casinos in the Philippines has Slowed – So Where’s the Best Place to Play Poker?

The Casino Filipino in Angeles is one of the most famous gambling spots in the country. This is more than just a casino, it’s the ultimate combination of unique culture, breathtaking surrounding scenery and exceptional entertainment.

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After Macau and Singapore, the Philippines is the fastest growing casino hub in Asia. Entertainment City in Manila Bay is designed in the style of other major gambling destinations like Las Vegas and Macau, and the government hopes it will draw in millions of visitors each year. In 2017, gross gaming revenue boomed and was up by 27 percent on the previous year.
Chips on a casino poker table felt

After Macau and Singapore, the Philippines is the fastest growing casino hub in Asia. Entertainment City in Manila Bay is designed in the style of other major gambling destinations like Las Vegas and Macau, and the government hopes it will draw in millions of visitors each year. In 2017, gross gaming revenue boomed and was up by 27 percent on the previous year. But now some are speculating that the sector is at risk of oversupply, so the building of new gambling houses in the country has slowed. Luckily for poker fans, there are a number of well-established poker rooms across the region. Here we take a look at the best places to get a fix of the amazingly popular card game in the Philippines.

Casino Filipino

The Casino Filipino in Angeles is one of the most famous gambling spots in the country. This is more than just a casino, it’s the ultimate combination of unique culture, breathtaking surrounding scenery and exceptional entertainment. This gambling house in the Town of the Angels aims to provide visitors with the experience of a lifetime. There’s a wide array of table games, slot machines and bingo draws, along with nightly performers serenading the hotel’s guests.

The casino itself is the epitome of lavish luxury, with sprawling gaming rooms and glistening décor. Along with this, there are numerous promotions to keep customers coming back for more. These include the Table Games Promo Card and the Slot Machines Promo Card, which give players access to a number of special privileges such as free food and beverages.

There are various events at the Casino Filipino such as the Friday Madness Bingo draw. But poker players will be most interested in the well-known poker room at the casino. The preferred variant of the world’s favorite card game here is stud poker, and they mainly offer cash games along with the occasional tournament.

The casino itself is the epitome of lavish luxury, with sprawling gaming rooms and glistening décor.
Casino, Pixabay

Pagcor Angeles

Angeles is home to another seriously stunning casino. The Pagcor is open 24 hours a day, which is ideal for players who want to get a game at all hours. There is an incredible selection here as well. The 42,651 square foot gaming area includes 452 gaming and slot machines, along with forty-five tables featuring traditional casino classics like blackjack, roulette, pai gow poker, and stud poker. There are six restaurants on site serving up a delicious array of Filipino and international cuisine, along with a hotel with sixty-six rooms.

Right next door to the buzzing gambling house is a recently developed poker room called the Century Poker Sports Club. The joint has been open for seven years and has gained a reputation for being a hotspot for poker in the city. Some of the past events there include the 300K Guaranteed Hold’em tournament to commemorate the poker room’s 6th anniversary last July, and the 20K Guaranteed No Limit Hold’em Tournament which took place there in November 2017. For some poker players, tournaments are their favorite way to play the game.

There is a certain knack to the tournament game, which requires players to adapt their poker strategy to defeat their opponents. This makes poker rooms like this that host regular Hold’em tournaments such attractive places to play. Skills required include extreme patience and the ability to wait until the right moment to strike. Players must also enter a poker tournament scenario with a clear set of rules and a strategy that they stick by.

Resorts World Manila

Manila is the country’s capital and the location that could one day rival major gambling hubs like Vegas and Macau. For that reason, it shouldn’t be surprising to hear that there are a number of truly awesome casinos and poker rooms in the city. One such location is Resorts World Manila in Newport City, directly opposite the Ninoy Aquino International Airport. This convenience aspect makes the casino a hugely popular spot for holidaymakers and weekend gamblers alike. But it also earns a high number of visitors because of the wealth of entertainment options on offer. It is an integrated resort operated by Travellers International Hotel Group, and the huge project features four hotels, a number of casino gambling areas, a shopping mall, cinemas, nightclubs, restaurants and a theatre.

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Resorts World Manila is renowned for its wide range of poker games and has hosted the Asian Poker Tour in the past. There are various poker rooms offering cash games and tournaments, along with different varieties of the classic game on offer in the casino. For instance, players can gamble against the house in Lunar Poker, Pai Gow Poker or Texas Hold’em Bonus Progressive Poker. Overall, this sprawling entertainment hotspot should have everything required to attract poker lovers along with their families and partners.

City of Dreams Manila

The final option on this list of great places to play poker in the Philippines is the City of Dreams Manila, located in the heart of Entertainment City. This is another enormous resort which features three luxury hotels, a large number of premium dining outlets, a massive casino, and the pumping Chaos nightclub. While the casino has a wide range of games to suit any player, it’s the elite poker rooms on offer here which will appeal to poker lovers.

The resort hosts a number of major poker tournaments throughout the year, along with smaller games on a day-to-day basis. This will suit both newcomers to the game and high rollers, and the amazing atmosphere will have them coming back for more.

With locations like these, it’s really no wonder that the Philippines is making a name for itself as one of the hottest up and coming gambling hubs in the world. Poker and casino fans alike are spoiledfa for choice, and wherever the cards are being played you can be sure to encounter some other awesome entertainment to help you maintain that high.