SINGAPORE - President Halimah Yacob will not be running for a second term as head of state in the upcoming election.
Her term expires on Sept 13. The election, which is held on a regular six-year cycle, has to be called by then, though there is a possibility of it being called up to a month later.
Madam Halimah announced her decision in a Facebook post on Monday.
She said: "In a few months' time, the Presidential Election will be held. After very careful consideration, I have decided not to stand for re-election."
It has been a great honour and privilege to serve as the eighth President of Singapore for the past six years, she said. "The experience has been most inspiring and, at the same time, humbling."
She added: "I was aware of the tremendous responsibilities of the Presidency when I took office in 2017 and I have tried my best to fulfill them. My aim was to help create a more caring and compassionate society."
Madam Halimah said she was glad she was never alone on the journey, as she was supported by many Singaporeans who shared strongly with her aim.
"Working together, we strengthened the voices of our communities and uplifted those who are most in need, particularly the disadvantaged and vulnerable among us," she said.
During her term, the President's Challenge focused on empowering persons with disabilities, building a digitally inclusive society and supporting caregivers, among others.
Madam Halimah added that she was very proud of Singaporeans who stood together during the Covid-19 pandemic to support each other, which enabled the country to transit safely to its present state.
"Our social cohesion was put to the test, and we passed with flying colours," she said.
"Many foreign leaders whom I met while representing Singapore internationally to strengthen our bilateral relations, had expressed their respect and admiration for our good system of governance, underpinned by strong social cohesion among our multi-racial and multi-religious society."
She noted that the Presidency is the highest office in the land, and a key institution in Singapore’s democracy. It unifies the nation by embodying the people’s shared values and aspirations, she said.
"The unifying role of the Presidency, working closely together with the Government to safeguard Singapore’s future, has always been critical to our nation’s success, and will be even more important going forward, as we find our way in a troubled and uncertain world."
Madam Halimah said she was grateful to all Singaporeans for their trust, understanding and kindness during her tenure, and to the many community, social and business organisations, who inspired her with their conviction and enthusiasm to build a better Singapore.
"We are all united by our deep love for Singapore, our desire to see Singapore do well, and our determination to make it a great home for all Singaporeans," she added.
She said she had been most fortunate to be given the chance to serve all Singaporeans regardless of race, language, or social standing as the President of Singapore.
"I will forever cherish the fond memories of the people I have met, and the experiences acquired during my term. These will inspire me to continue contributing to our society and nation in other ways for as long as I am able to. I would also like to thank my husband and family for their unstinting support throughout my Presidency."