Indian-origin Tharman Shanmugaratnam to be sworn in as Singapore’s president on Thursday

Singapore: Indian-origin Singapore-born economist Tharman Shanmugaratnam will be sworn in as the ninth president of the city-state on Thursday, days after he was overwhelmingly elected as the ninth head of state of the country.

The 66-year-old president-elect won 70.4 per cent of the (1,746,427 votes) of the 2.48 million ballots cast by local voters on September 1, while his Chinese-origin rivals Ng Kok Song and Tan Kin Lian received 15.72 per cent and 13.88 per cent respectively.

About 76 per cent (2,834) of overseas Singaporeans voted for Tharman, while Ng and Tan received 595 votes (15.99 per cent) and 292 votes (7.85 per cent) respectively.

Incumbent President Halimah Yacob’s term will end on September 13. The elected president serves a six-year term.

After the inclusion of overseas votes, which were counted on Tuesday, the total number of ballots cast for the presidential election 2023 stood at 2,534,711, including rejected votes.

This makes up 93.55 per cent of the 2,709,407 registered electors for this election.

A predominantly Chinese society has overwhelmingly endorsed Tharman who has served Singapore all his life in public service.

Prior to being president-elect, Tharman served as a senior minister between 2019 and 2023; coordinating minister for social policies between 2015 and 2023; and Chairman of the Monetary Authority of Singapore between 2011 and 2023. He also served as Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister from May 2011 to May 2019.

He also co-chairs the Global Commission on the Economics of Water with Ngozi Owonjo-Iweala, Mariana Mazzucato and Johan Rockstr├Âm.

Tharman is also a member of the Board of Trustees of the World Economic Forum (WEF). He is also a member of the United Nations Secretary-General’s High-Level Advisory Board on Effective Multilateralism, which will make recommendations on Effective Multilateralism for the UN Summit of the Future in 2024.