Tharman Shanmugaratnam, a Singaporean of Tamil descent, was elected as President of Singapore in an election on September 1. Mr Shanmugaratnam defeated two Chinese candidates. He won over 70 percent of the votes. He was a member of the ruling party that is an amalgamation of the three main ethnic groups, Chinese are the largest group with Malays the second largest and Indians a small minority. Indians came to Singapore as indentured laborers or girmityas or work on malaria infested rubber plantations owned by British absentee landlords. Shanmugaratnam is a third generation Indian.
Shanmugaratnam served as a Minister of government between 2001-23. He held several portfolios including as Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Minister. He resigned from office last July to contest the August Presidency. He is the third person of Indian descent to be elected as President of the city state Republic of Singapore. The others are Devan Nair (1981–85) who was appointed by the country’s parliament before the presidency became an elected office in 1991, and S.R. Nathan (1999–2011). President elect Shanmugaratnam will be sworn in on September 14, succeeding a female Malay as President. All PMs in Singapore were ethnic Chinese.
Below is the statement of the IDC:
IDC CONGRATULATES INDIAN-ORIGIN THARMAN SHANMUGARATNAM WINNING SINGAPORE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION