SINGAPORE: The National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) has thrown its support behind former Speaker of Parliament Halimah Yacob in her bid to be Singapore's next President.
Mdm Halimah is a “warm and dear friend of the labour movement”, said labour chief Chan Chun Sing on Tuesday (Aug 8) at the NTUC’s National Day Observance Ceremony. Her work with the labour union spanned more than 30 years, first as a member and later as its deputy secretary-general.
“Even after she left the labour movement to serve with me in the then-Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports, she has maintained her close ties with the labour movement,” said Mr Chan.
While Mr Chan stopped short of detailing how the labour movement might support Mdm Halimah on the campaign trail, he said many members are likely to do so in their individual capacities.
“The people are so warm and supportive of her announcement that she will want to run for the presidency to serve Singaporeans in a different capacity,” said Mr Chan.
He added: “We are very proud of her achievements over all these years – we’ve always known her to be a champion for the workers – especially the less-privileged workers. So I think she has touched the lives of many people and we wish her all the very best.”
Mr Chan, who is also Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, also said that it is not a requirement by law for a by-election to be called for the Marsiling-Yew Tee Group Representation Constituency which Mdm Halimah represented as Member of Parliament.
The decision to call a by-election will be “the prerogative of the Prime Minister," he added.
NTUC president Mary Liew said she has been approached to be one of Mdm Halimah's assentors one Nomination Day as required under Elections Department rules.
"She is part of our family, so we will continue to support her," said Ms Liew. "Even during Nomination day we will take our leave and we will support her and see her through all the way."