Spouse of the
President of Singapore
Incumbent
Jane Yumiko Ittogi
since 14 September 2023
ResidenceThe Istana
Inaugural holderNoor Aishah
Formation9 August 1965; 58 years ago (1965-08-09)

The spouse of the president of Singapore is sometimes referred to as the first lady or first gentleman, although it is a courtesy term not enshrined in the Constitution. By tradition, an official portrait of the spouse of the president of Singapore is prominently displayed in government buildings alongside the portrait of the president.[1]

Jane Yumiko Ittogi is the spouse of the ninth President of Singapore, after her husband Tharman Shanmugaratnam won the 2023 presidential election with 70% of the valid votes.

History

In December 1959, Noor Aishah, wife of President Yusof Ishak, became the first person to assume the role at the age of 26.[2] Her biography, Puan Noor Aishah: Singapore's First Lady, was published in 2017.[3]

On 14 September 2017, Mohammed Abdullah Alhabshee became the first gentleman, after his wife Halimah Yacob won the 2017 presidential election by an uncontested walkover.[4]

List of spouses of the presidents of Singapore

No Portrait Spouse of the President President Start date End date Ref
1 Noor Aishah
(born 1933)
Yusof Ishak 9 August 1965 23 November 1970
2 Yeo Seh Geok

(1917–2012)

Benjamin Sheares 2 January 1971 12 May 1981
3 Avadai Dhanam Lakshimi
(1925–2005)
Devan Nair 23 October 1981 28 March 1985
4 Koh Sok Hiong
(1916–2018)
Wee Kim Wee 2 September 1985 1 September 1993
5 Ling Siew May
(1937–1999)
Ong Teng Cheong 2 September 1993 30 July 1999
6 Urmila "Umi" Nandey

(born 1929)

Sellapan Ramanathan 1 September 1999 31 August 2011
7 Mary Chee Bee Kiang

(born 1941)

Tony Tan Keng Yam 1 September 2011 31 August 2017 [5]
8 Mohammed Abdullah Alhabshee Halimah Yacob 14 September 2017 14 September 2023 [6]
9 Jane Yumiko Ittogi Tharman Shanmugaratnam 14 September 2023 Incumbent [7]

See also

Notes

References

  1. ^ Nur Asyiqin Mohamad Salleh (7 February 2017). "Debate on Bill prompts questions on ethnicity and identity". The Straits Times. Archived from the original on 5 August 2017. Retrieved 5 August 2017.
  2. ^ "Puan Noor Aishah – Singapore's first First Lady". Singapore Women's Hall of Fame. Retrieved 8 December 2022.
  3. ^ Nur Asyiqin Mohamad Salleh (19 July 2017). "New book launched on Puan Noor Aishah, wife of Singapore's first President Yusof Ishak". Straits Times. Retrieved 8 December 2022.
  4. ^ Tham Yuen-C (14 September 2017). "The man behind her successful career". The Straits Times. Retrieved 23 May 2020.
  5. ^ Yin, Chai Hung (23 August 2011). "Women behind the men". AsiaOne. Archived from the original on 28 December 2011. Retrieved 29 September 2017.
  6. ^ Tham, Yuen-C (17 July 2017). "More consultation needed before my decision to run for president: Halimah Yacob". Straits Times. Archived from the original on 29 July 2017. Retrieved 29 July 2017.
  7. ^ Goh, Yan Han; Ho, Grace (25 August 2023). "Tharman believes S'pore is ready for a non-Chinese PM". The Straits Times. Archived from the original on 25 August 2023. Retrieved 25 August 2023.