This book tells how a serious-minded young man became one of Singapore’s most respected politicians and, ultimately, President of the Republic. Based on extensive research, including interviews with family, friends and colleagues, this account traces the rise to eminence of Ong Teng Cheong, as he becomes first, Member of Parliament for the Kim Keat constituency, then a government minister and Secretary-General of the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC). The climax of the story comes when, in 1993, he relinquishes his position in the Cabinet, resigns from the PAP, leaves the NTUC, and presents himself as a candidate to be the first elected president of Singapore.
The book assesses Ong’s legacy: his contribution to the economic well-being of the workforce, his role in shaping the physical appearance of Singapore, his part in the development of the MRT system, among other projects, and his tireless patronage of the arts. Included here are the recollections of many distinguished public figures of his generation—including President S. R. Nathan and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong; here, too, are the words of many others whose lives were touched by Ong Teng Cheong.
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