Statement by Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon on behalf of the Singapore Judiciary on the demise of former President Mr S R Nathan
23 August 2016 – The Judiciary joins the nation in mourning the passing of Mr S R Nathan, Singapore’s sixth and longest-serving President from 1999–2011. He will be fondly remembered for his warmth, generosity and the common touch, elements which truly made him a President of and for the people.
2. Mr Nathan dedicated almost his entire adult life to public service. Starting out as a medical social worker in 1955, Mr Nathan’s illustrious career saw him assume various important posts before being elected to the highest office in the land. Each time he was called upon to serve the nation, he displayed poise, sound judgment, and a conviction to do right by all Singaporeans.
3. Mr Nathan shared with the Judiciary the same deep commitment to safeguarding the progress of the nation through a sound, effective and principled legal system uniquely suited to our needs. He understood that this was not merely an aspirational ideal; it was an existential necessity. When Mr Nathan opened the new Supreme Court building in January 2006, he highlighted the Judiciary’s pivotal role in nation building. He reminded us then that our achievements have not come easily and that there must therefore be a continued and unwavering commitment to upholding the rule of law from which flows order and stability for our people. Today, the ideals which Mr Nathan stood for remain just as relevant and his actions just as inspiring.
4. On behalf of the Judiciary, I extend my deepest and heartfelt condolences to the family of Mr Nathan. Our thoughts are with them at this difficult time.