On September 1, Singapore elected Tharman Shanmugaratnam as its new president. The 66-year-old Former Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister won 70.4% of votes to gain a six-year term. He will replace Halimah Yacob, the island nation’s first female head of state.
Shanmugaratnam faced stiff competition in a three-way contest, which included two candidates of Chinese descent, as indicated by the preliminary vote count released by the Elections Department. His main rival, Ng Kok Song, a former chief investment officer of Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC, won 15.7% of the vote.
Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi congratulated Tharman Shanmugaratnam on his victory in Singapore’s presidential election. “I look forward to working closely with you to further strengthen the India-Singapore Strategic Partnership,” PM Modi tweeted.
The recent election was the city-state’s first contested presidential election in more than a decade. Voting was compulsory for the more than 2.7 million eligible voters in Singapore.
Shanmugaratnam was born in Singapore in 1957 to a Tamil father and a Chinese mother. His father, Kanagaratnam Shanmugaratnam, was a renowned pathologist and cancer researcher, while his mother was a homemaker. His upbringing was shaped by the diversity of his cultural background, allowing him to become proficient in four languages, namely English, Tamil, Malay and Mandarin.