Mr VK Rajan, a pioneer generation civil servant, is the author of Serving Singapore: My Journey.
- Speech by Guest-of-Honour
Mr Wong Kan Seng
Former Deputy Prime Minister & Minister for Foreign Affairs
- Book Summary by Author
Mr VK Rajan
Pioneer Generation Civil Servant
- Remarks by Ambassadors
- Amb Ong Keng Yong
Executive Deputy Chairman
S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
- Amb Barry Desker
S. Rajaratnam School of International Stuides
- Amb Ong Keng Yong
- Book-Signing and Reception
About the Book
This book by a pioneer generation civil servant is a fascinating and an engaging account of Singapore’s spectacular development from a sleepy backwater village to a first world State within a single generation and defying, in the process, all odds against its survival. This story is unique in many ways and starts right at the beginning when Singapore became a self-governing State in 1959, the same year the author entered the civil service. The author’s involvement and participation in the detailed planning of pioneering policies, the strategies adopted and their implementation at the ground level by many front line ministries and institutions, in which he has served for more than four decades, have given him a unique hands-on experience and observations derived in working from the inside — in areas ranging from slum clearance to representing the State overseas. The story also details how the cooperation between an honest and visionary leadership and the citizenry created an effective professional, proactive and productive public administration, which excelled in service delivery at home, and enabled the State to punch above its weight globally, overcoming at the same time many political, economic and security challenges, amongst others, and always ever mindful that nothing in the scheme of things can be taken for granted. The success achieved and the many lessons learnt therefrom have universal application and had attracted global interest.
The story is very well illustrated with compelling and illuminating insights and richly complemented by the author’s anecdotal observations throughout.
About the Author
Veluthevar Kanaga Rajan (VK Rajan) was born into a rural family in Marsiling, Singapore and was fourth of five sons. He had primary and secondary education in Bukit Panjang Government English School and Victoria School, respectively. Obtained Bachelor of Laws, University of London and Barrister-At-Law, Lincoln’s Inn through part-time studies. He is a member of the Chartered Management Institute.
VK Rajan entered the Civil Service in 1959 and had served in the Executive Service, the Administrative Service and the Foreign Service with postings in several frontline ministries. He was involved in a variety of pioneering development projects – slum clearance, inauguration of television service, establishing diplomatic missions abroad, organising important high profile conferences, implementing urgent public sector reforms involving the management of national resources, especially financial and human resource, and undertaking a range of ad hoc missions abroad, amongst others. Positions held by him include Deputy Collector of Land Revenue, Special Assistant to Director Manpower, Secretary to Tan Tock Seng Hospital, Private Secretary to the President of the Republic, Director (Special Duties), Trainer (part-time) at the Civil Service College, Chief of Protocol, High Commissioner and Ambassador, amongst others. He was conferred three national awards.
In retirement, VK Rajan practiced law, was a Senior Consultant in Chesterton Suntec International Pet Ltd and is currently serving as an Adviser in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Kingdom of Bahrain.
VK Rajan has served the community in several capacities: Chairman of the Hindu Advisory Board and the Hindu Endowments Board, respectively; Member of the National Council Against Drug Abuse, Member of the Home Team and, as Vice Chairman of the Singapore Business Federation, led many trade and investment missions abroad.