In pictures: Inauguration of Singapore's new President Tharman Shanmugaratnam
SINGAPORE: Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam was inaugurated as Singapore’s ninth President on Thursday (Sep 14).
The swearing-in at the Istana was held at about 8pm after a farewell ceremony for outgoing President Halimah Yacob.
Mdm Halimah inspected the guard of honour one final time at the ceremonial plaza in front of the Istana, and shook the hands of former President Tony Tan and his wife Mary Tan as well as Cabinet ministers before leaving the premises.
Mr Tharman and his wife Jane Yumiko Ittogi arrived at the Istana soon after and were welcomed by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
Mr Tharman, 66, had won the Presidential Election this month with more than 70 per cent of the votes cast, beating two other candidates – former GIC chief investment officer Ng Kok Song and ex-NTUC Income chief Tan Kin Lian.
The national anthem was played as Mr Tharman and Mr Lee took to the dais and all the guests stood at attention.
Mr Tharman then inspected the guard of honour, accompanied by the Prime Minister. The five contingents this year include a new Digital and Intelligence Service, in addition to the Army, Navy, Air Force and Police.
The President-elect then entered the State Room of the Istana for the swearing-in ceremony, attended by about 200 guests including ministers, Members of Parliament and diplomats.
In response to media queries about Mdm Ho Ching’s absence at Mdm Halimah’s farewell reception on Wednesday and Mr Tharman’s inauguration, the Prime Minister’s press secretary said that “Mrs Lee is recovering from a respiratory infection so she was not able to attend the functions these two days”.
The national anthem was played a second time in the State Room after everyone had taken their places.
Holding up his right hand, Mr Tharman took his oath, which was witnessed by Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon, and signed the Affirmation of the Office of President.
The Prime Minister then delivered his speech, in which he said Singaporeans had chosen a candidate who is “eminently qualified for this high office”.
He described former Senior Minister Tharman as “someone who not only has the ability, experience and stature to carry out his duties both at home and abroad, but also sound judgement and unquestioned integrity”.
Mr Lee pointed out that Mr Tharman’s win in the Presidential Election showed that race was a “smaller factor now than it used to be” for Singaporeans.
Following the Prime Minister’s speech, Mr Tharman delivered his first speech as President. He swore that he would be “scrupulous and independent” in making judgements on Singapore’s reserves.
He also promised to work with the government, community groups, voluntary organisations and the entire nation to strengthen Singapore’s multiracialism, and nurture a more inclusive society, with the “strong mandate” voters have given him.
The evening ended with a group photo with the President and the Cabinet ministers, and a banquet.
Min, C. H. (2023, September 14). In pictures: Inauguration of Singapore’s new President Tharman Shanmugaratnam. CNA. https://www.channelnewsasia.com/singapore/inauguration-singapore-new-president-tharman-shanmugaratnam-3770896