SINGAPORE: Minister of State Halimah Yacob is reportedly slated to be the next Speaker of Parliament, taking over from Michael Palmer, who resigned recently over an extra—marital affair.
Chinese daily Lianhe ZaoBao reported on Sunday that Madam Halimah is slated to be appointed to the post when Parliament sits on 14 January.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong had earlier said he would nominate a new Speaker of Parliament for the House to endorse.
If confirmed, Madam Halimah will be the first woman appointed to the post, one that is behind only the president and the prime minister.
Many Members of Parliament (MPs) Channel NewsAsia spoke to did not want to speculate on the move, but said Madam Halimah would make a capable Speaker.
Deputy Speaker of Parliament Seah Kian Peng said: "I won’t comment on the rumours but regarding Halimah, she certainly has the qualities to be a good Speaker. Because first of all, she has all the legal background. She’s very calm, she’s very collected. And she’s also very well respected in the House. Gender has never been an issue for any position. So to me, this is a non—issue."
Besides Mr Seah, the other Deputy Speaker is Charles Chong, who is also the MP for Joo Chiat.
Madam Halimah could not be reached for comment.
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