Halimah Yacob
Halimah Yacob Facebook/Halimah Yacob

Halimah Yacob sworn in as Singapore's first female President at the Istana on Thursday. She was welcomed by a Guard of Honour, which she inspected for the first time. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon witnessed the oath-taking.

Cabinet ministers, members of the judiciary and other dignitaries attended the solemn ceremony in the State Room at the Istana. The ceremony began with the singing of Singapore's national anthem.

"I, Halimah Yacob, having been elected as President of the Republic of Singapore, do solemnly swear that I will faithfully discharge my duties," she said.

Halimah, Singapore's eighth President, succeeds Tony Tan Keng Yam and Thursday will be marked as the first day of her six-year term. However it is not clear yet if she is willing to move to the official residence of the President as she said that she would like to continue staying at her "jumbo" HDB flat in Yishun.

Earlier, Halimah was given a tour of the Istana and she had met the staff from the President's Office. In a news briefing, she told the media that she is thinking of ways to share the Istana grounds with more Singaporeans.

This year, Halimah was the only person to qualify for the Presidential Election that was reserved for Malays following changes to the Elected Presidency.

In 2001, Halimah entered into politics and since she had been very active in her work. She has been a Member of Parliament for Jurong GRC and Marsiling Yew-Tee GRC. She was appointed as Singapore's first female Speaker of Parliament in 2013, but she stepped down from the post to become President.