[About this blog] Inspired by local soccer player Mike Lim during my rookie reporter days at Singapore Polytechnic, I set up this blog in August 2002. I feel that blogging is a novel platform to document interesting facets of my life and my thoughts on certain issues. [Email blogger] ephraim@singnet.com.sg

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

[goodbye dr wee]
Singapore's former President, Dr Wee Kim Wee, died on Monday morning at his home, from complications due to a relapse of prostate cancer.

Many people remember him as a president "who was very close to the people".

What was interesting was his past, however.

He started out as a clerk in The Straits Times and then started to cover sports news five years later. Then in 1941 he left to join United Press International. 18 years later, he returned to The Straits Times and was appointed deputy editor (Singapore) and chief of editorial operations.

He was also the first journalist to interview quirky people like a Sulu pirate chief.

But it was in 1966 when he got his scoop in an interview with Lieutenant-General Suharto who ascended to power after a coup.

Interestingly, his scoop was splashed over The Straits Times front page on May 2, 1966. The story was headlined "Peace: The sooner the better".

Fast forward to 39 years later, he finally found peace when he left this world on May 2, 2005.

And as a mark of respect, the State flag on all Government buildings will be flown at half-mast from Tuesday to Friday.

Photo credit: www.ephraim.blogspot.com

Through the various stories and anecdotes, we can truely say that Dr Wee Kim Wee was indeed a very people oriented person who would go down to their level to talk to them. This personality trait endeared him to the common man and it is outlined and shown in his approachable style and humility.

One thing for sure: he's even more admirable than any of the Singapore Idols.


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