Farewell Former President Mr S R Nathan

by Patrick Liew on August 25, 2016

My first close encounter with the late Mr S R Nathan was when I was invited to the Istana in 2007.

That year, my company had organised a fund raising event for the President’s Challenge.

The President’s Challenge was a major initiative started by Mr Nathan to galvanize our people’s talents and resources to help the poor, disadvantaged and needy.

As a company that believes in working towards radical breakthroughs, we want to do something unprecedented even for our regular social contributions.

At that point, we decided to set a national record and have it audited and published in the Singapore Book of Records.

We decided to set a record for the biggest number of people to walk on broken glass.

It was not the easiest task to organise the event and train our people to walk on broken glass properly without suffering any personal harm and other danger.

The record was set and I believe the record still stands until today.

What was a pleasant surprise was that even though we did not raise the most amount of money in comparison to many other fund-raising initiatives that year, I was invited as the CEO of the company to the Istana to meet Mr Nathan.

It was a great honour to our team and especially to me because I was invited to go up a stage and receive an award from him.

Since then, I had met Mr Nathan on a few other occasions.

I have always had a good impression of him because he was a grassroots President, one who rose up from the most challenging of circumstances to the highest office in our land.

Mr Nathan was known to be a friendly and an approachable President. He made it a point to reach out to the people from different spheres of society.

What was most respectable to me was that he was a man of action.

Throughout his life, from being a medical social worker to being a President, he was proactive in rolling up his sleeves and making things happened.

His legacy is carried by the people that he has touched and trained and these people are inspired to touch and train others to do well and do good in their lives.

Many of the changes that he has initiated still stands as a testament to his servant heart, wisdom, discipline, grit, and desire to make a positive difference.

Mr Nathan, thank you for all that you’ve done for us and for our children’s children.

May you rest in peace.

Farewell Big Chief!


I hope this message will find a place in your heart.

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