Ex-pres­i­dent Nathan dies at 92

The Myanmar Times - - World -

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. –

Photo: AFP

Belgian ex­pa­tri­ate Philippe Graf­fart (cen­tre) ar­rives in a po­lice car at the state court in Sin­ga­pore on Oc­to­ber 7, 2015.

Photo: AFP

SR Nathan was a vet­eran pub­lic ser­vant.

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