Photo of Lee Hsien Loong with Halimah Yacob from Straits Times

Corruption from the ruling party dictatorship reached a new mark yesterday (Sep 14), earning mockeries from Singaporeans, foreign press and independent observers around the world. China’s South China Morning Post called it a “one horse race”, CNN called it a “winning an election without a vote”, BBC called it “selected Presidency” and Japan Times called it “making an election unnecessary”. Halimah Yacob’s ascent showed the world how corrupted Singapore actually is.

151th-ranking local state media however is writing another story, praising Halimah Yacob’s Presidency as “a hallmark of meritocracy, gender equality and multiculturalism”. Straits Times calls her a “double minority”, to be the first female and Malay President. The state media papers ran sob stories of her childhood poverty and how she “worked her way up to the top” by riding on the ruling party PAP’s escalator.

Halimah Yacob has Singapore’s most powerful membership, the PAP, and that membership entitled her to a meteoric rise over the past 30 years in civil service. Her success as Puppet President today is paved with huge sacrifices, like renouncing one’s heritage. Unlike any other Indian Muslim Singaporean, Halimah Yacob forsake her Indian genes and “convert” to Malay just for the lucrative S$1.54 million-a-year position.

She also sacrificed her reputation, willingly to sit on the altar of insult as Lee Hsien Loong’s pet. Her predecessors, Tony Tan and S R Nathan, were all publicly insulted by Singaporeans as “KFC man” and “prata man” respectively. In fact, most Singaporeans are already calling her a “nasi lemak macik” (Malay rice auntie). S R Nathan’s popularity is best described by the empty queues at his funeral, and the same would be expected for Tony Tan in a few years.

The Singapore Presidency however deserves to be cursed, given it’s exorbitant salary and non-existent job description. Lee Hsien Loong needs a puppet president to dip his hands into the country’s reserves and CPF retirement funds. The corrupted Prime Minister did not hide his ill intentions in his recent congratulatory speech to Halimah Yacob, saying that the President’s role is to assist him to raid the reserves:

” At the same time, the President has to work closely with the Government, for the two-key mechanism to function properly. I look forward to establishing such a relationship with you, just as I did with your predecessors.”