Outgoing President Halimah Says Her Primary Consideration For Stepping Down Was To Retire
It seemed not long ago when President Halimah Yacob stood down as Speaker of Parliament and ran for the 2017 presidential election.
But in the blink of an eye, the chapter of Madam Halimah’s presidency has come to an end on Wednesday (13 Sep).
Speaking to Channel NewsAsia (CNA) before the end of her term, Madam Halimah shared that her primary consideration for stepping down was her desire to retire.
The 69-year-old shared that she hasn’t had much privacy as a public officer holder and said she looks forward to spending more time with her family after stepping down.
Outgoing President Halimah Yacob says she’s stepping down to retire & spend time with grandchildren
Outgoing President Halimah Yacob spoke candidly during a recent interview with CNA.
Addressing the elephant in the room, Madam Halimah explained that her main reason for stepping down was her desire to retire.
“I am retiring,” she chuckled. “Somehow, people find that very different to absorb, to accept.”
The 69-year-old explained that being a holder of public office has been “entirely all-consuming”.
You do not have any privacy at all. You are always out in the public arena. You are always subject to intense scrutiny, and you do lose out (on) many years with the family.
Madam Halimah recalled previous occasions when she and her loved ones committed themselves to catching up with the family.
“But then you realise that the family have all grown up, the children have all grown up. They’ve got their own lives,” she shared.
Nonetheless, Madam Halimah said she would fresh, reignite, and strengthen the bonding with the family, starting with her grandchildren.
She also shared her desire to pursue other interests that she has cast aside due to her busy career.
Interestingly, shopping at the supermarket is one of the things that Madam Halimah said she looks forward to doing when she goes back to becoming an ordinary citizen again.
Urged Singaporeans to stay united
Giving a farewell speech at the Istana on Wednesday (13 Sep), Madam Halimah urged Singaporeans to stay united amid a period of political and economic uncertainties.
She also reflected on her 6-year term that coincided with the Covid-19 pandemic, which she described as Singapore’s most severe and unprecedented crisis.
She pointed out that the pandemic served as a test for the two-key system — both the Government and President must give their consent before tapping into Singapore’s financial reserves.
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Featured image adapted from CNA on Facebook.
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