I’ve known Halimah for a long time. We first met in 1976 when I was an undergrad at the University of Singapore and she was in her third year of law school. We were at the University of Singapore Muslim Society orientation camp, where she was a senior shepherding the starry-eyed freshmen into the intricacies of Islam and its meaning in our lives. I was one of the freshmen.
Though we went our separate ways after graduation (occasionally meeting at weddings of mutual friends and at community events), I would often hear stories about her commitment to the struggles of low-income families and vulnerable workers.
If there’s one word to describe the Halimah I’ve known all these years, it is Consistency. Over the years, she has consistently shown her devotion to helping those in need, especially vulnerable women. She is never shy to speak her mind if it means getting more attention for them. Even when she became a parliamentarian in 2001 and later as Speaker of Parliament, Halimah never departed from her causes. I believe this consistency, as well as her dedication to helping our Muslim community navigate and integrate fully into the Singaporean family, will remain a lasting legacy.
I would like to thank Halimah for all her contributions and wish her the very best in her future endeavours. As she embarks on her new journey, I hope that in the years to come, in whatever capacity she finds herself in, she is able to convince the wider community to look beyond her race, to assess her beyond her gender, and to judge her beyond her religion, into becoming fully one with Singapore and Singaporeans. #yaacobibrahim
Source: Yaacob Ibrahim