Singapore’s female president is the first in the world to get her own emoji


Image: AP/REX/Shutterstock

Singapore now has its first female president ever.

63-year-old Halimah Yacob, a former speaker of parliament, was declared the country’s latest president on Wednesday.

She was the only candidate to qualify for the presidency, a largely ceremonial role, which was this year reserved for candidates from the Malay community.

In celebration of her win, Twitter launched a special emoji for her — the first for a female head of state anywhere in the world.

Not gonna lie, it’s pretty adorable.

Image: twitter/supplied

She can be seen here decked out in a red headscarf and a white top — Singapore’s national colours. She also gets a little star pin on her headscarf, a prominent symbol in the country’s flag.

So if you’re hashtagging your tweets with #HalimahYacob, #PresidentHalimah or #MdmPresident, amongst others, a tiny emoji of Halimah will automatically come up.

This is also the first time that Twitter has created an emoji specially for a national leader in Singapore.

But not everyone is happy about Halimah’s win.

Some online took to Twitter to vent, with many calling her win undemocratic — as she was the only candidate qualified for the election.

The government ruled that two of her other rivals were not eligible to run as their companies did not have at least $370 million (S$500m) in shareholder’s equity — one of the many criteria put in place for the job.

Halimah also faced further criticism as the presidency this year was reserved for a particular ethnic group. The government had previously explained this was to allow representation of minority groups in a predominantly ethnically Chinese country.

She will be the first Malay head of state in 47 years.

The strict criteria put in place let many to believe that Halimah had been “selected”, and “not elected” for the presidency.

Some even marked their posts with the hashtag #NotMyPresident, which first emerged as a reaction to Trump’s presidency.

The President of Singapore has limited powers. The country’s head of state has traditionally been its Prime Minister.

Halimah, who will be sworn into office on Thursday, will serve as the president for the next six years.

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