Mr S Rajaratnam

Mr S Rajaratnam 2

Mr S Rajaratnam 3

In my opinion,Dr Goh Keng Swee contributed more to Singapore's success.In fact,what we take for granted is what he painstakingly built.He had a part in setting up NTUC Fairprice,the place we shop for groceries.He also developed the Jurong Birdpark.a tourist attraction that I have been visiting since young.He also introduced effective plans that we still benefit today.He helped built up our financial strength and make us an important financial hub.Overall I feel that Dr Goh Keng Swee is the master builder of many things,from small things like affordable foodstuff for all to the economy that allow Singapore to prosper.

One of the many projects Dr Goh Keng Swee initiated.Courtesy of

A picture of Dr Goh Keng Swee.

The S Rajaratnam School of International Studies at Nanyang Technological University.

The S Rajaratnam block at the Raffles Institution,taken from

A photo of the late Mr S Rajaratnam,taken from NLB website.

Dr Goh Keng Swee

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Dr Goh Keng Swee whose christian name was Robert was born in Malacca into a middle income Peranakan family on 6 October 1918.His father was Goh Leng Inn and his mother was Tan Swee Eng.When he was two years old,his family relocated to Singapore.He first studied at the Anglo-Chinese School from 1927 to 1936 and later Raffles College.His results for the Senior Cambridge Examinations was second in class and graduated from Raffles College with a Class 2 Diploma in Arts and a special distinction in economics.After his graduation,he joined the colonial civil service as a tax collector with the War Tax Department.Shortly after the start of World War 2,he joined the Singapore Volunteer Corps.Dr Goh Keng Swee married his colleague Alice Woon in 1942 and his only child Goh Kian Chee was born two years later.In 1945,he relocated his family to Malacca but returned to Singapore a year later.That year he joined the Department of Social Welfare and was active in post-war administration.He became the supervisor of the Department's Research section.He rejoined the civil service in 1946 and his outstanding performance scored him a scholarship to further his studies at the London School of Economics(LSE).During his time in London,he met fellow students seeking independence for British Malaya.They included Abdul Razak(later Malaysia's second Prime Minister),Maurice Baker(who became Singapore's High Commissioner to Malaysia),Lee Kuan Yew and Toh Chin Chye.An anti-colonial political group,the Malayan Forum,was formed in 1948 with him as the founding chairman.In 1951,he graduated with First Class Honour in Economics and was awarded the William Farr Prize for achieving the highest marks in statistics.Upon his return to the Department of Social Welfare,he was appointed assistant secretary of the Research Section.In 1952,he formed the Council of Joint Action with fellow civil servant Kenneth M. Byrne(later became independent Singapore's first Minster for Labour and Law)to protest against salary and promotion policies that favoured Caucasians over Asians.In 1954,he returned to LSE for doctoral studies with the aid of a University of London Scholarship. he completed his PHD in Economics in 1956 and returned to serve Assistant Director in the Department of Social Welfare and went on to become director.In 1958,he was made Director of the Social And Economic Research Division in the Chief Minister's Office.He resigned on August 1959 to work full time for the People's Action Party(PAP).A year later,he contested the general elections as a PAP candidate.He won the Kreta Ayer seat and represented the constituency in the legislative assembly and later the parliament of Singapore until his retirement from politics.He served as Minister of finance from 5 June 1959 to 8 August 1965.During his term,working with a budget of $14 million he introduce stringent mead=sures such as reducing the pay of civil servants.As a result,the Government was able to rake in a profit of $1 million.He also initiated the setting up of the Economic Development Board(EBD) to attract foreign multinational companies to invest in Singapore.He also transformed Jurong from a swampy waste land to Singapore first industrial estate.He also offered incentives to attract foreign investments.In addition,he served as Minister of Interior and Defence from 24 Sep 1965 to 16 Aug 1967.Following the pulling out of the British troops,he realised an urgent need to set up a defence force and implemented compulsory National Service for all Singaporean males aged 18 years old.He also served as the Minister of Education from 12 February 1979 to 31 May 1980.During his term,he found that curriculum development's importance and that led to the setting up of the Curriculum Development Institute.He also introduced streaming to help students learn better at their own pace.He had initiated many more then those mentioned above.In recognition of his efforts,he was awarded many awards such as the Order of Temasek(First Class) and the Order of Sikatuna.

Mr S Rajaratnam

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Mr S Rajaratnam whose full name is Sinnathamby Rajaratnam was born in Sri Lanka on the 25 of February 1915 to Sabapathy Pillai Sinnathamby and his wife.He was raised in Seremban,Malaysia and attended the Convent of the Holy Infant Jesus for 6 months before transferring to St Paul's boy's school.He continued his education at Victoria Institution in Kuala Lumpur before coming to Singapore to study at Raffles Institution.In 1937,he went to London's King's College to pursue a degree in law.Due to the Second World War,communication between London and Malaysia broke down and he could not receive money from his father.Thus,Mr S Rajaratnam turned to journalism to earned a living.He never returned to university to complete his degree.Later,he met his wife Piroska Feher,a Hungarian,while in London.After returning to Singapore in 1948,he joined the Malayan Tribune.In 1950,he was appointed Associate Editor of the Singapore Standard for 4 years.Then,he worked for The Straits Times till 1959.He was the secretary of the Malayan Indian Congress and a founding member of the Singapore Union of Journalists.After Mr S Rajaratnam met Mr Lee Kuan Yew by chance at the Chinese Swimming Club and realised that they both were unhappy about the political situation.They decided to meet to discuss the situation.Thus,Mr S Rajaratnam plunged into politics and became one of the founding members of the People's Action Party(PAP) and formed the PAP Big Three together with Mr Lee Kuan Yew and Dr Goh Keng Swee.In 1959,he resigned from The Straits Times to run for the Legislative Assembly seat of Kampong Glam.In 1959,he served as the Minister For Culture and wrote a souvenir publication published in 1964 named "PAP's first ten years" to mark PAP's tenth anniversary.In 1966,he wrote the National Pledge and with the racial riots in 1964 fresh in his memory,he wrote it containing the words "One united people,regardless of race,language or religion".He also served as the first Minister for Foreign Affairs from 1965 to 1980.During his term in office as the Minister For Foreign Affairs,he helped Singapore gain entry into the United Nations and the Non-Aligned Movement in 1970.He also built up the Foreign Service and helped to establish good relationships with other countries and secure international recognition of Singapore's sovereignty.In addition,he carried out the foreign policy of international self assertion to establish Singapore's independence when Singapore faced challenges such as the withdrawal of the British troops.He was also one of the five "founding fathers" of the Association of Southeast Asia Nations(ASEAN) in 1967.He was also the Minister for Labour from 1968 to 1971.During his term as the Minister for Labour,he implemented tough labour laws to restore stability in Singapore's economy and attracted multinational corporations to invest in Singapore.He also served as Second Deputy Prime Minister in 1973 and was also appointed Senior Minister after he retired from active politics.He then served as Distinguished Senior Fellow from November 1 1988 to October 1 1997 at the Institute of South East Asian studies.He died of heart failure on 22 February 2006.S Rajaratnam School of International Studies at Nanyang Technological University and Rajaratnam Block at Raffles Institution are named in honour of his contributions to Singapore.He was also awarded the First Class Order of Temasek.

Eulogy from Minister Mentor(Goh Keng Swee)

Eulogy from Minister Mentor 2(Goh Keng Swee)

Eulogy from Grand Niece Marian Hu(Goh Keng Swee)