Portraits of President Halimah and her husband ready for display

The portraits of President Halimah Yacob and her husband Mohamed Abdullah Alhabshee are available for collection from today.
The portraits of President Halimah Yacob and her husband Mohamed Abdullah Alhabshee are available for collection from today. PHOTOS: MINISTRY OF COMMUNICATIONS AND INFORMATION

For the first time in Singapore's history, the official presidential portraits adorning the walls of schools, government buildings and other public places will have a woman on the left and a man on the right.

The portrait of President Halimah Yacob, Singapore's first woman head of state, is available for collection from today, along with the photograph of her husband Mohamed Abdullah Alhabshee.

Their portraits must be framed, hung as a pair and at the same height. It is a convention for the president's portrait to be placed on the left, and that of the spouse on the right.

Madam Halimah, who began her term as Singapore's eighth president in September after she was elected in a walkover, wears a red blouse and pink headscarf in the portrait.

Mr Mohamad has on a dark red tie with a black jacket and white shirt.

The portraits, which are unframed, are free.

"In choosing a suitable site to display the portraits, care should be taken to ensure that the portraits are accorded decorum," said guidelines on the Istana website.

The President's Office said in a statement yesterday that organisations can request them by filling out a form available at www.istana.gov.sg/the-president/portrait

Upon approval, they can collect the portraits during office hours at the Ministry of Communications and Information building in the Old Hill Street Police Station, from today until Jan 31 next year.

The Istana website said that the portraits can be displayed in places where members of the public visit and where official business is conducted. These include polyclinics, hospitals, banks, military establishments, hotels, embassies and country clubs, among other places.

But they cannot be put up at places which provide games and entertainment and serve food and drinks, such as karaoke lounges, games rooms, jackpot rooms, amusement centres, arcades, canteens, bars, pubs, and beer and dining halls. "In choosing a suitable site to display the portraits, care should be taken to ensure the portraits are accorded decorum," said guidelines on the Istana website.

The walls where presidential portraits are typically displayed had been left empty after the portraits of former president Tony Tan Keng Yam and his wife Mary were removed on Aug 31, the last day of his term of office.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 03, 2017, with the headline 'Portraits of President Halimah and her husband ready for display'. Print Edition | Subscribe