Rama Krishna Sangem
One more person of Indian origin – Indian father and Chinese mother – became head of a major country, outside India. This is Tharman Shanmugarathnam, 66 year old newly elected president of Singapore in the just held elections. Shanmugaratham’s People’s Action Party won handsomely in the election, giving him, a former deputy PM, reins to run Singapore.
Tharman Shanmugaratnam, an Indian-origin politician and former member of Singapore’s ruling party, achieved a significant victory on September 2, Saturday, securing 70.4 percent of the votes in the country’s presidential race. Shanmugaratnam faced stiff competition in a three-way contest, which included two candidates of Chinese descent, as indicated by the preliminary vote count released by the Elections Department.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated Tharman Shanmugaratnam on his victory in Singapore’s presidential election. “I look forward to working closely with you to further strengthen the India-Singapore Strategic Partnership,” PM Modi tweeted.
Hearty congratulations @Tharman_s on your election as the President of Singapore. I look forward to working closely with you to further strengthen the India-Singapore Strategic Partnership.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) September 2, 2023
Who is Tharman Shanmugaratnam?
Tharman Shanmugaratnam was born in Singapore on February 25, 1957, to a Tamil father and a Chinese mother. His father, Kanagaratnam Shanmugaratnam, was a renowned pathologist and cancer researcher, while his mother was a homemaker. Tharman’s upbringing was shaped by the diversity of his cultural background, allowing him to become proficient in four languages: English, Tamil, Malay, and Mandarin.
Shanmugarathnam wrote books – Asian Monetary Integration and Will it Ever Happen? He is married to Jane Yumiko Ittogi, born in a family of Japanese father and Chinese mother settled in Singapore. Shanmugarathnam couple have four children. Shanmugarathnam is credited with efficiency and expertise to run a developed economy like Singapore and is known to have balanced political views.
Indian diaspora in Singapore is celebrating his victory in presidential elections.