In the first of our Future First Lady series, we take a closer look at the women who stand beside our Presidential hopefuls. Now, Singapore may not have an Office of the First Lady, but their roles are crucial, nonetheless. They accompany our Presidents to key state or diplomatic events, and are arguably, an important face of Singapore as well.
We start with the wife of Second Chance CEO Salleh Marican, Mdm Sapiyah Abu Bakar. Mr Salleh Marican announced his intention to contest the election last week and collected his application forms from the Elections Dept yesterday on 5 Jun.
So, who is Ms Sapiyah?
1. She has been married to Mr Salleh for 43 years and they have 4 children
Mdm Sapiyah married Mr Salleh in 1974 and has 4 children, 3 daughters and a son. She is a housewife who appears to have a close relationship with her children.
2. She is sometimes known as Maria Marican.
A CSI search online throws up precious little information about Mdm Sapiyah – she has virtually no online presence. She does, however, have an Instagram account @mariamarican, with 1,000 followers (not too bad!)
The name ‘Maria Marican’ is quite unusual, actually. Traditionally, most Malay wives keep their maiden name – and do not take on their husband’s last name.
Perhaps, this is Mdm Sapiyah’s way of portraying herself as a more Westernised figure.
3. Mdm Sapiyah aka Maria Marican is always well-dressed, and appears to have a fondness for fashion.
Photos online of Mdm Sapiyah typically shows her glamorously dressed, such as photos of the Marican family at events like Prestige’s Crystal Anniversary Ball – an event for society’s creme da la creme. Her heavily lined eyes seem to be a personal trademark.
We aren’t sure if this works in their favor though. Already, with Mr Salleh’s business background, people have likened him to Singapore’s Trump. And Melania Trump.
Netizens, generally, had mixed reactions towards Mdm Sapiyah.
Some appreciated her good looks (come on, she’s 65!)
And still others likened her to other famous figures, such as our friends next door.
Come September, will her portrait be up on the halls of fame, alongside Encik Salleh Marican?