08 December 2016
In his last days, former president S R Nathan was bent on finding answers to one question: What national cause would Singaporeans rally around for a brighter future, and deepen the bond between them and their leaders?
The Straits Times (ST) editor-at- large Han Fook Kwang yesterday told about 150 people at The Arts House that Mr Nathan had urged him to help find an answer to that question when he, EDB Society president Lee Suan Hiang and the society’s honorary secretary Daisy Goh visited Mr Nathan in hospital on July 13, over a month before he died on Aug 22.
Yesterday, four of the late statesman’s former colleagues proffered answers to his question at a forum Mr Han moderated, which the society and ST organised as part of its Pioneering The Future series.
They were Mr S. Dhanabalan, a former minister and member of the Council of Presidential Advisers; academic Cham Tao Soon, who is Professor Emeritus at Nanyang Technogical University; ambassador-at-large Ong Keng Yong, executive deputy chairman of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies; and ST’s former editor-in-chief, Mr Peter Lim.
… Mr Ong said Singaporeans should stop harking back to the past, and instead build on the country’s success today. He added: “We have to look at Singapore as having made it… Singapore is now reputable and well-regarded with high standards and, going forward, we should substantiate that idea.”
And while it had “leapfrogged” neighbours such as Malaysia and Indonesia to seize opportunities farther abroad, Singapore “must now find a way to… get better value” from its relationships with such neighbours, he said.
RSIS / Online / Print
Last updated on 08/12/2016