Halimah Yacob

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Halimah Yacob
حاليمه بنت يعقوب
Halimah Yacob APEC Women and the Economy Forum 2012.jpg
Halimah Yacob at the APEC Women and the Economy Forum 2012.
9th Speaker of the Parliament of Singapore
Assumed office
14 January 2013
President Tony Tan Keng Yam
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong
Deputy Charles Chong
Seah Kian Peng
Preceded by Michael Palmer
Minister of State, Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports
In office
21 May 2011 – 13 January 2013
Preceded by Yu-Foo Yee Shoon
Member of the Singapore Parliament
for Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC
Assumed office
11 September 2015
Member of the Singapore Parliament
for Jurong GRC
In office
3 November 2001 – 11 September 2015
Personal details
Born (1954-08-23) 23 August 1954 (age 62)
Nationality Singaporean
Political party People's Action Party
Alma mater National University of Singapore
Religion Sunni Islam
This is a Malay name; the name Yacob is a patronymic, not a family name, and the person should be referred to by the given name, Halimah.

Halimah Binti Yacob (Jawi: حاليمه بنت ياچوب; born 23 August 1954) is a Singaporean politician.[1] A member of the country's governing People's Action Party (PAP), she is currently the ninth Speaker of Parliament,[2] having assumed office on 14 January 2013. She is the first woman to hold this post in the Republic's history. She is the third consecutive Speaker belonging to a minority race, after Abdullah Tarmugi and Michael Palmer.[3] She also served as Minister of State at the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports from 2011 to 2013. She has been a Member of Parliament (MP) representing the Jurong Group Representation Constituency between 2001 and 2015 and Marsiling-Yew Tee Group Representation Constituency since 2015.


Halimah Yacob was educated at Singapore Chinese Girls' School and Tanjong Katong Girls' School, before going on to the University of Singapore where she completed an LLB (Hons) degree in 1978. She was called to the Singapore Bar in 1981. In 2001, she completed an LLM degree at the National University of Singapore, and was conferred honorary Doctor of Laws degree from NUS on 7 July 2016.[4]


Political career[edit]

Halimah entered politics in 2001 when she was elected as an MP for the Jurong Group Representation Constituency (GRC).

Following the 2011 general election, Halimah was made a Minister of State at the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports.

Halimah has also served as the Chair of the Jurong Town Council.

Halimah has been actively involved in the Malay community. For example, she contributes to the Malay Knowledge-Based Economy Advisory Committee, which was formed to better integrate the Malay community into the knowledge-based economy. In recognition of her contributions, she was conferred the Berita Harian/McDonald's Achiever of the Year Award in 2001[5] and the "Her World Woman of the Year Award" in 2003.[6] She also speaks out actively against radical Islam in particularly condemning and disassociating from the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant.[7]

Speaker of Parliament[edit]

On 8 January 2013, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong nominated Halimah Yacob to succeed former Speaker Michael Palmer. She was fully supported by all the MPs of the ruling People's Action Party and all the opposition Workers Party and the sole Singapore Peoples Party NCMP.[3] She was elected Speaker of Parliament on 14 January 2013.

Trade union involvement[edit]

Halimah has served at the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) as the Deputy Secretary General, Director of the Legal Services Department and Director of the Women's Development Secretariat. She has also served as the Executive Secretary of the United Workers of Electronics and Electrical Industries.

Halimah has also served on the governing body of the Geneva-based International Labour Organization. She was elected as the Workers' Vice-Chairperson of the Standards Committee of the International Labour Conference (ILC) in Geneva in 2000, 2001 and 2002 and 2005. In 2003 and 2004, she was the Workers' Spokesperson for the ILC Committee on Human Resources Development and Training.

Personal life[edit]

Halimah is married and has five children. Her Indian-Muslim father was a watchman who died when she was eight years old.[source: A strong advocate for workers, women and minorities,

Jessica Cheam, The Straits Times, 8 Jan 2013]. She is the first woman, and the second Muslim to serve as the Speaker Parliament of Singapore.


  1. ^ "Mdm Halimah Yacob", Singapore Parliament, retrieved 21 May 2011 
  2. ^ "Halimah Yacob Became First Woman Speaker of the Singapore Parliament". Jagran Josh. 16 January 2013. Retrieved 16 January 2013. 
  3. ^ a b "Singapore's first female Speaker of Parliament". Channel Newsasia. 9 January 2013. Retrieved 9 January 2013. 
  4. ^ Lim, Yan Liang (7 July 2016). "Halimah Yacob conferred honorary Doctor of Laws degree by NUS". Straits Times. Retrieved 7 July 2016. 
  5. ^ "Cultural Ambassador is Berita Harian Achiever of the Year 2009". Singapore Press Holdings. 29 July 2009. Retrieved 21 May 2011. 
  6. ^ "Her World Woman of the Year celebrates 20 years". Her World. 25 March 2011. Retrieved 21 May 2011. 
  7. ^ "The Sunday Times - Counter ISIS ideology on social media: Halimah". Government of Singapore. Retrieved 25 November 2015. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of Singapore
Preceded by
Michael Palmer
Charles Chong (acting)
Speaker of Parliament
14 January 2013–present