Halimah Yacob launches official website

Madam Halimah Yacob's halimah.sg website has write-ups on her life and career, and links to her Facebook page.
Madam Halimah Yacob's halimah.sg website has write-ups on her life and career, and links to her Facebook page.SCREENGRAB: HALIMAH YACOB

The Writ of Election has yet to be issued but the presidential race is already under way on social media, as three aspiring candidates head online to connect with citizens.

Former Speaker of Parliament Halimah Yacob launched her website halimah.sg on Wednesday, while businessmen Salleh Marican, 67, and Farid Khan, 61, started public Facebook pages in the past month. Madam Halimah, who turned 63 on Wednesday, is still active on her Facebook page, which was set up when she was still a People's Action Party MP. She now has more than 24,000 followers.

And although her reach far outstrips her potential opponents' - Mr Salleh has about 300 followers on his page , while Mr Farid's campaign page has over 2,000 - she is the first to have an official website.

halimah.sg has write-ups on her life and career, and links to her Facebook page and new YouTube channel. It includes what a spokesman called "her message to Singaporeans": Do Good, Do Together.

Her campaign slogan and plans will be announced in due course, he said.

Mr Salleh and Mr Farid submitted their application forms this week. Madam Halimah has yet to do so.

A president, she wrote on her site, should unify the nation, do good for the country and serve Singapore and Singaporeans wholeheartedly. "This is the kind of President I would like to be. I believe that the administration has a huge capacity to do a tremendous amount of good. My focus is to look at our shared values and goals... Let's do good and let's do it together."

Yesterday, Communications and Information Minister Yaacob Ibrahim paid tribute to Madam Halimah in a Facebook post on a farewell dinner held for her by past and present Malay MPs on Wednesday. He recalled their first meeting at the then University of Singapore's Muslim Society orientation camp, "where she was a senior shepherding starry-eyed freshmen", among them Dr Yaacob.

Over the years, he often heard of her commitment to the struggles of low-income families and vulnerable workers, and said she has consistently devoted herself to helping those in need. He added: "As she embarks on her new journey, I hope in the years to come, in whatever capacity she finds herself, she is able to convince the wider community to look beyond her race, to assess her beyond her gender, and to judge her beyond her religion, into becoming fully one with Singapore and Singaporeans."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 25, 2017, with the headline 'Halimah launches official website'. Print Edition | Subscribe