Lee A. San­tipongchai dies, aged 90

Bangkok Post - - LIFE -

Lee A. San­tipongchai, for­mer chair­man of Sing Sian Yit Pao, Thai­land’s largest Chi­nese-lan­guage daily news­pa­per and hon­orary con­sul for the Ori­en­tal Repub­lic of Uruguay, passed away peace­fully on Satur­day, aged 90.

Lee, fondly known as “Khun Lee” or “Mr Lee” (from his Chi­nese name, Lee Aik Sim) to friends and col­leagues, was mar­ried for 65 years to Mrs Suri (Aw Cheng Sin).

Lee be­gan his ca­reer in the im­port-ex­port busi­ness in Myan­mar, where he was born. He grad­u­ated from Yan­gon Uni­ver­sity with a bach­e­lor’s of science in en­gi­neer­ing. He man­aged the Tiger Balm fac­tory in Myan­mar and later in Thai­land. He and his fam­ily em­i­grated and set­tled in Bangkok in 1966. The world-renowned Tiger Balm was cre­ated by the Aw broth­ers: Aw Boon Haw and Aw Boon Par (Lee’s wife Suri is the sec­ond daugh­ter of Aw Boon Par).

He spoke many lan­guages in­clud­ing Thai, Chi­nese (Hokkien and Man­darin), English, Burmese, Hin­dus­tani and some Span­ish.

In 1971, he took over the man­age­ment of Sing Sian Yit Pao, serv­ing as the chair­man of the news­pa­per un­til his re­tire­ment in 2005. He was also hon­orary con­sul for the Ori­en­tal Repub­lic of Uruguay from 1986 un­til his re­tire­ment.

Lee was an ac­tive mem­ber of the Ro­tary Club of Dhon­buri and sup­ported many char­i­ta­ble foun­da­tions in­clud­ing the Foun­da­tion for the Blind. He was be­stowed the Royal Dec­o­ra­tion Knight Grand Cross (First Class) of the Most Ex­alted Or­der of the White Ele­phant.

He was also a keen golfer and made the Royal Bangkok Sports Club his sec­ond home on week­days.

Lee is sur­vived by his wife Suri, his five chil­dren and 11 grand­chil­dren.

Roy­ally spon­sored fu­neral rites are be­ing held nightly, at Wat That Thong, Sala 12 un­til Satur­day at 7pm. Royal cre­ma­tion ser­vice will take place on Sun­day, at 5pm.

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