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Singapore will have first female president before long: presidential candidate

(Xinhua)

13:37, August 25, 2011

SINGAPORE, Aug. 25 (Xinhua) -- Singapore presidential hopeful Tony Tan has said that it would not be too long before Singapore has its first female president.

Local daily Straits Times reported on Thursday that Tan made the comment while campaigning for presidency.

"All of us, our sons and daughters, must know, and I am confident that it won't be too long before we have our first female president," Tan said.

The topic of women entering politics has led to discussions after another presidential candidate, Tan Cheng Bock, said on a recent online forum that while he encouraged women to enter politics and noted their role in the workforce, they should get their husbands' permission.

Tan Cheng Bock cited the heavy commitment it could entail to be in politics.

Tan Jee Say, another presidential candidate, said that he hoped more women could afford to be housewives "because after a certain stage of life, they want to really look after the family."

For candidates, all surnamed Tan, are now running for president in Singapore. Tony Tan, a former deputy prime minister, is the obvious forerunner.

Trina Liang-Lin, president of the United Nations Women National Committee Singapore, expressed concern about the views of the two candidates at Tony Tan's campaign rally on Wednesday.

"Surely in this day and age of shared responsibilities in a modern marriage, I would hope a wife need not still ask permission like asking a superior. I would hope it is a consultative process between two equals, very much like what I see Dr. Tony Tan and his wife to be," she said.

Tony Tan said he would help Singapore weather the next financial and economic crisis with his experience if he gets elected. He also pledged to bring the "spirit of Silicon Valley" to Singapore by helping young entrepreneurs try new ventures and new ideas.

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