Singapore’s Indian-origin former President passes away

SINGAPORE: Indian-origin former Singapore President S R Nathan died at a hospital on Monday, days after suffering a stroke.

A veteran public servant, 92-year-old Nathan passed away peacefully at Singapore General Hospital, the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement.

He was also closely associated with the country’s founding leader Lee Kuan Yew.

“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.

“Arrangements for the public to pay respects and for the funeral will be announced later.”

Nathan had been warded at Singapore General Hospital since suffering a stroke on July 31.

He was the sixth and longest-serving President of Singapore and served two terms from 1999 to 2011.

He officially stepped down as President on August 31, 2011 after announcing that he would not seek a third term. Nathan was succeeded by President Tony Tan Keng Yam.

After stepping down as President, Nathan took up appointments as Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies and at the Singapore Management University’s School of Social Sciences.

Prior to becoming President, he held key positions in the civil service, as well as in security, intelligence and foreign affairs.

He was appointed as Singapore’s High Commissioner to Malaysia in 1988 and later Singapore’s Ambassador to the United States of America from 1990 to 1996.

Nathan also served as Singapore’s Ambassador-at-Large, and later pro-chancellor of the National University of Singapore.

Nathan was survived by his wife, daughter, son and three grandchildren.