7 things to know about Tharman Shanmugaratnam, who will run for President in Singapore

3 months ago 41

SINGAPORE: Senior Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam announced on Thursday (Jun 8) that he plans to run for Singapore's presidency, and will retire from politics and all his positions in government.

In a letter to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, he said he intends to resign from the People's Action Party (PAP) and step down as Senior Minister and Coordinating Minister for Social Policies on Jul 7.

This, he said, is so that he can fulfil his "immediate official commitments in Singapore and internationally, and ensure that arrangements are fully in place for constituents of Jurong GRC to be well-served for the rest of the electoral term". 

The announcement comes just over a week after President Halimah Yacob said she will not run for a second term, ruling her out of an election that will take place soon.

Singapore's next Presidential Election must be called by Sep 13, with Mdm Halimah's six-year term expiring on that day. 

The earliest the election can be held is three months before that - on Jun 13. 

Due to his longstanding involvement in public service, Mr Tharman is a well-known figure in Singapore and beyond. 

Here are seven things to know about the man who will run for President in Singapore.


The 66-year-old is married to Jane Yumiko Ittogi, who is a lawyer by training and of Chinese-Japanese descent. They have a daughter and three sons.


Mr Tharman attended the Anglo-Chinese School before graduating from the London School of Economics (LSE) with a Bachelor of Science degree in economics. 

LSE later awarded him an Honorary Fellowship in 2011. 

Subsequently, he obtained a Master of Philosophy degree in economics from the University of Cambridge, and a Master in Public Administration at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, where he was conferred the Lucius N Littauer Fellow award for outstanding performance and leadership potential.

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