Singapore Model Parliament welcomes first female prime minister

Miss M. Premikha, who will be starting classes at NUS next month, was the first woman to be selected for the role of prime minister at the Singapore Model Parliament.
Miss M. Premikha, who will be starting classes at NUS next month, was the first woman to be selected for the role of prime minister at the Singapore Model Parliament. PHOTO: NUS TAMIL LANGUAGE SOCIETY

SINGAPORE - Singapore is getting its first female Prime Minister - albeit in a model parliament setting.

M. Premikha, 20, who is starting classes at the National University of Singapore (NUS) Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine next month, took on the role of prime minister at the 4th Singapore Model Parliament, which kicked off on Monday morning at The Arts House.

Speaker of Parliament Halimah Yacob officiated at the opening of the event, which aims to introduce youth to the fundamentals of Singapore's parliamentary process.

Students from universities and polytechnics here take on the roles of Members of Parliament from the ruling and opposition parties and debate issues.

It is the first time that the event has featured a female prime minister. Another new feature is having students take on the role of journalists from local and international press agencies.

The three-day event, attended by about 90 students, was jointly organised by NUS youth ambassadors of the government feedback unit Reach, NUS Political Science Society and the Pro Bono Office of the NUS Faculty of Law.

Mr Chris Chia, 24, president of the NUS Political Science Society, pointed out that the role of the prime minister in the event as a "challenging" one, which involved guiding other members in the model parliament.

He said: "Premikha exhibited a clearing understanding in assessing the abilities of her bench members, and also displayed keen leadership quality."

twtoh@sph.com.sg