News have broken now that S R Nathan, Singapore’s longest serving president, has just passed away at 92. Throughout his 12 years as Head of State, he has had some notable quotes which will definitely be remembered by most.
Here are some we found.
“Whether in the office of the President or in the executive arm of Government, we’ll always need people of strong character and vision who resist populist pressures and the temptation to sacrifice the long-term interest of the nation in response to those who merely snipe without having to take responsibility.”
“One of the things you must remember is that with all these gripes that you hear, people forget how we have arrived to this stage in our country. Could it have been done without the Government? That’s my question. Much has been achieved. There are probably faults that have to be remedied, but we just can’t distance ourselves from the Government.”
“I’ve done the best I can. If it’s good enough for some people, fine. If it’s not good enough for some people, and there will always be noise in the environment, you can’t stop it. You don’t do it because you want to leave a legacy. You do the best you can.”
On having a duty to Singapore;
“We can criticise, we can comment, we can abuse, we can say…but ultimately if it fails, we all fail. So that’s the duty we have. To uphold it, to let it grow, to let it stand in the eyes of the world as something important, something worth recognising. So that’s the duty.”
On social media;
“I hear from my grandchildren about Facebook and whatever you have. So after I’ve stepped down, I have time and I will have to learn all that. But anyway, I’m not going into Facebook and tell stories. No point. Not all people on Facebook or whatever you call it, are honest people. Some of them are very critical of things without responsibility.”
On calls for a more open presidency;
“We cannot have a Presidency on the streets. The President’s duties are defined by the constitution and the people would not want the office to be so transparent to a point where the value and prestige of the position is lost.”
On what gave him the most satisfaction;
“The way I’ve been accepted by people of all races, of all strata of society, of all persuasions, who have embraced me and accepted me as their President. I’ve tried to behave in a way not to let them down either locally or internationally. I’ve tried to preserve in some ways the aura of the presidency which must be kept because it’s an institution above politics.”
On his successor, Dr Tony Tan;
“I think he is a highly capable person, very reputable. He is a person who carries himself well, and I am sure he will be a great asset and pride of Singapore.
On the close election fight;
“Even if you win by one vote, it is still a victory.”
“I made up my mind to leave, so I am happy the end is coming. I can go back to a private life. Every good thing must come to an end.”
On stepping down;
“When I was sworn in as President in 1999, I said that I will be a President for all Singaporeans, with every community of Singaporeans as my parish. I have tried to live up to that, engaging the different races and religious groups in every way possible.
“I am deeply touched by such affection shown to me by Singaporeans, and I will always cherish that memory.”
Rest in peace Mr Nathan.
Source: IfOnlySingaporeans, Yahoo.