Former Singapore President Halimah Yacob was conferred the nation’s highest civilian honour on October 29, for “embodying so fully the Singapore Story – and for her lifetime of devoted and distinguished service.”
Madam Halimah received the Order of Temasek (With High Distinction) from President Tharman Shanmugaratnam at the National Awards Investiture, held at the Institute of Technical Education College Central. She is the first Singaporean to be elected to the governing body of the International Labour Organisation, the first Malay woman to be elected an MP, the first female Speaker of Parliament, and the first female to occupy the highest office in the land.
The leader began her career in the labour movement in 1978, and became the deputy secretary-general of the National Trades Union Congress. She contributed extensively to formulating, strengthening and enforcing labour standards locally and internationally over her 33 years of devoted service.
Madam Halimah was elected to Parliament in 2001, and served four terms as an MP. She was appointed to political office in 2011, as Minister of State first in the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports, and later in the Ministry of Social and Family Development. She was elected the eighth president of Singapore in 2017, after serving as Speaker of Parliament for four years from 2013.