Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Wee Kim Wee (Huang Jin Hui)

Our people's President - Dr Wee Kim Wee 黄金辉 (1915 - 2005)

Wee Kim Wee, was born in 1915, in Singapore. He was rose from a humble station in life, whose father (Wee Choong Lay) was just a low-paid clerk.

At the age of 8, Wee Kim Wee’s father passed away.After growing up, Wee Kim Wee started as a clerk in The Straits Time. 1944, he joined the United Press Association and was its Chief Correspondent in the 1950s.

After returning to The Straits Times in 1959, he was given a chance to be deputy editor in Singapore. In 1966, an interview with General Suharto of Indonesia made him well-known to the citizens.

It seemed natural that with his many contacts in the region made during his years a journalist, he moved on to the next stage of his career as a diplomat.He served as High Commissioner to Malaysia for 7 years from 1973, and went on to become Ambassador to Japan and South Korea.

After he retiring from the diplomatic service in 1984, he took up a new post - Chairman of the then Singapore Broadcasting Corporation (SBC).

A year later he was appointed as the 4th President of Singapore, determined to make the Presidency as accessible as possible to ordinary Singaporeans.

His genuine concern for others and natural warmth touched many lives.Citing to his age, health and Constitutional amendments which provided for an Elected President, Wee Kim Wee retired from the Presidency in Sept 1993.

At the time of his retirement, Wee Kim Wee said that it was best for Singapore that a new man was put in place.

Even though Wee Kim Wee had officially announced retirement to all Singaporeans in 1993, but he remained active in community work after then.

In 2004, he wrote his very own auto-biography, titled Glimpses and Reflections. From the royalties and other donations, half a million of Singapore dollars were donated to eight charities.

In 2 May 2005, Wee Kim Wee passed away at home from prostate cancer, with an age of 89.


Little Jave's Word:

Dr Wee Kim Wee's smile, is a smile of hope.

Just like Sunshine for growing little wheat, warm cup of tea in the Winter.

A smile that we will never forget.

With love to Dr Wee Kim Wee.


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