The usual protocol is that presidents stay in the Istana, the official residence and office of the President of Singapore. The 106-acre estate in Newton hosts a massive mansion built during colonial times, and that’s where the president receives and entertains state guests. That being said, no presidents have actually lived at the Istana since 1959.
President-elect Halimah herself resides in a jumbo HDB flat in Yishun, where she’s lived for over 30 years with her family. She’s mentioned before that she hopes to stay put in Yishun, and she’s said it again earlier today after she was declared president-elect.
“I’m still staying in Yishun. It is a very nice, comfortable place and I have been living there for many years,” said the 63-year-old to reporters who asked her where she’d be staying after becoming head of state.
Her husband Mohamed Abdullah Alhabshee also saw no need to move, as their flat is “as huge as a penthouse”. And it’s true — jumbo flats are crazy huge because they’re made of combined residential units. Halimah’s 6th-story abode consists of a four-room flat and a five-room flat mashed together.
Security in a siao lang town
After being sworn in to the highest office in the land, however, there’s the serious matter of safety and security. The president-elect stated that she’ll leave security arrangements to the security department — but she does know that it’ll be a nightmare to do so in public housing.
A nightmare indeed, especially when we’re talking about Yishun. The neighborhood is hilariously infamous for being an epicentre of lunatics and crime. Yishun’s label siao lang town is done in jest, of course… but we’ll let property site 99.co explain why it’s a terrifying place to live in. In other words, the security team for Halimah will have their work cut out for them.