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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

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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Singapore To Come Up With Strict Alcohol Norms For Pilots

The Singapore Air Operator Certificate holders will be required to strengthen their alcohol abstention policies and implement an Airline Alcohol Management Programme from May to identify, manage and rehabilitate pilots with problematic use of alcohol, the release said. 

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Pilots found to be operating under the influence of alcohol may be subjected to criminal penalties of up to 50,000 Singapore dollars (about $36,878.5) and/or imprisonment of up to two years for the first offence, and up to 100,000 Singapore dollars and/or imprisonment of up to five years for repeat offenders. Pixabay

The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) announced here on Thursday that it would tighten the regulatory regime on alcohol abstention to mitigate the risk of pilots operating under the influence of liquor.

According to CAAS, the authority will implement the Airport Alcohol Testing Programme (AATP) and start random testing of pilots at Changi and Seletar airports on March 31, the Xinhua news agency reported.

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Pilots found to be operating under the influence of alcohol may be subjected to criminal penalties of up to 50,000 Singapore dollars (about $36,878.5) and/or imprisonment of up to two years for the first offence, and up to 100,000 Singapore dollars and/or imprisonment of up to five years for repeat offenders. Pixabay

It will set the alcohol abstinence standard at 0.02 grams per 210 liters of breath for pilots. Those found to exceed the standard would not be permitted to fly, it said.

Pilots found to be operating under the influence of alcohol may be subjected to criminal penalties of up to 50,000 Singapore dollars (about $36,878.5) and/or imprisonment of up to two years for the first offence, and up to 100,000 Singapore dollars and/or imprisonment of up to five years for repeat offenders.

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It will set the alcohol abstinence standard at 0.02 grams per 210 liters of breath for pilots. Those found to exceed the standard would not be permitted to fly, it said.
Pixabay

The Singapore Air Operator Certificate holders will be required to strengthen their alcohol abstention policies and implement an Airline Alcohol Management Programme from May to identify, manage and rehabilitate pilots with problematic use of alcohol, the release said.

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Kevin Shum, Director General of CAAS, said: “The safety of aircraft operations, passengers and crew on board is paramount and the CAAS and the aviation community take a serious view of pilots operating under the influence of alcohol.”

“The new alcohol testing and management programmes will help ensure that pilots’ ability to operate aircraft is not impaired by alcohol,” he said. (IANS)