Ex-president Nathan dies at 92
FORMER Singapore president SR Nathan, whose colourful career included stints as a spymaster and a diplomat, died in hospital on August 22, the government said in a statement.
The 92-year-old veteran public servant, who was closely associated with Singapore’s founding leader Lee Kuan Yew, was hospitalised on July 31 after suffering a cerebral stroke.
“The prime minister and his cabinet colleagues are sad to learn of the passing of Mr S.R. Nathan and would like to convey their condolences to his family,” the statement said.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong wrote in tribute of the longest-serving president, “I remember him as a man guided by a deep sense of duty to the nation. He stepped up each time duty called.”
Mr Nathan started his career as a social worker and rose up the ranks to become ambassador to Malaysia and to the United States, two of the most prestigious jobs in the government service.
It was during his tenure as ambassador that he had to defend Singapore’s caning of an American teenager, Michael Fay, for vandalism in 1994, which caused a serious diplomatic rift with Washington.
Mr Nathan also served as an intelligence chief in the military.
He was elected to two six-year terms between 1999 and 2011.
The president is the head of state but also has the power to protect the country’s reserves, veto senior government appointments and stop executions. –
Belgian expatriate Philippe Graffart (centre) arrives in a police car at the state court in Singapore on October 7, 2015.
SR Nathan was a veteran public servant.