SINGAPORE: Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong said Minister of State Halimah Yacob, who is set to become Singapore's first woman Speaker of Parliament, will be appointed strictly on merit and not because of her gender or that she is from a minority race.
He described the fact that she's a woman and a Malay as "bonus" political attributes.
He said Mdm Halimah has distinguished herself in the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC), as a backbencher, office-holder, leader of her community and in her constituency as well.
Mr Goh shared his thoughts in a post on his MParader Facebook page on Wednesday, a day after Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced that he will nominate Mdm Halimah to be elected as Speaker when Parliament sits on January 14.
Mr Goh said the Speaker's job will not over stretch her capacity to contribute to Singapore. He added that it is good that PM Lee intends to ask her to contribute in an appropriate capacity to social issues.