Halimah Yacob, a former speaker of parliament from the Muslim Malay minority, will become Singapore's first female president when she is sworn in Thursday as the city's eighth head of state.

Here are some of the lesser known facts about Singapore's first female President:

  • Yacob, 63, is Singapore's first ethnic Malay president in 47 years since the late Yusof Ishak, who governed in the mid-1960s.
  • She was the only one of three prospective candidates to receive a certificate of eligibility for this year's Presidential Election, which was reserved for the Malay community.
  • The other two contenders, Salleh Marican and Farid Khan, were both denied eligibility, having fallen short of a constitutional rule that required any candidate from the private sector to have led a company with shareholder equity of at least 500 million Singapore dollars.
  • The youngest of five children, Yacob was just eight years old when her father, a watchman, died. Her mother became the sole breadwinner of her family.
  • Yacob graduated from the University of Singapore with a law degree and subsequently obtaining her Master of Laws at the National University of Singapore.
  • Prior to announcing her intention to run as President last month, Yacob was serving as both Speaker of Parliament and MP for Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC.

(With inputs from CNA)