Mr S Rajaratnam

Mr S Rajaratnam 2

Mr S Rajaratnam 3

Mr S Rajaratnam

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Mr S Rajaratnam whose full name is Sinnathamby Rajaratnam was born in Sri Lanka on the 25 of February 1915 to Sabapathy Pillai Sinnathamby and his wife.He was raised in Seremban,Malaysia and attended the Convent of the Holy Infant Jesus for 6 months before transferring to St Paul's boy's school.He continued his education at Victoria Institution in Kuala Lumpur before coming to Singapore to study at Raffles Institution.In 1937,he went to London's King's College to pursue a degree in law.Due to the Second World War,communication between London and Malaysia broke down and he could not receive money from his father.Thus,Mr S Rajaratnam turned to journalism to earned a living.He never returned to university to complete his degree.Later,he met his wife Piroska Feher,a Hungarian,while in London.After returning to Singapore in 1948,he joined the Malayan Tribune.In 1950,he was appointed Associate Editor of the Singapore Standard for 4 years.Then,he worked for The Straits Times till 1959.He was the secretary of the Malayan Indian Congress and a founding member of the Singapore Union of Journalists.After Mr S Rajaratnam met Mr Lee Kuan Yew by chance at the Chinese Swimming Club and realised that they both were unhappy about the political situation.They decided to meet to discuss the situation.Thus,Mr S Rajaratnam plunged into politics and became one of the founding members of the People's Action Party(PAP) and formed the PAP Big Three together with Mr Lee Kuan Yew and Dr Goh Keng Swee.In 1959,he resigned from The Straits Times to run for the Legislative Assembly seat of Kampong Glam.In 1959,he served as the Minister For Culture and wrote a souvenir publication published in 1964 named "PAP's first ten years" to mark PAP's tenth anniversary.In 1966,he wrote the National Pledge and with the racial riots in 1964 fresh in his memory,he wrote it containing the words "One united people,regardless of race,language or religion".He also served as the first Minister for Foreign Affairs from 1965 to 1980.During his term in office as the Minister For Foreign Affairs,he helped Singapore gain entry into the United Nations and the Non-Aligned Movement in 1970.He also built up the Foreign Service and helped to establish good relationships with other countries and secure international recognition of Singapore's sovereignty.In addition,he carried out the foreign policy of international self assertion to establish Singapore's independence when Singapore faced challenges such as the withdrawal of the British troops.He was also one of the five "founding fathers" of the Association of Southeast Asia Nations(ASEAN) in 1967.He was also the Minister for Labour from 1968 to 1971.During his term as the Minister for Labour,he implemented tough labour laws to restore stability in Singapore's economy and attracted multinational corporations to invest in Singapore.He also served as Second Deputy Prime Minister in 1973 and was also appointed Senior Minister after he retired from active politics.He then served as Distinguished Senior Fellow from November 1 1988 to October 1 1997 at the Institute of South East Asian studies.He died of heart failure on 22 February 2006.S Rajaratnam School of International Studies at Nanyang Technological University and Rajaratnam Block at Raffles Institution are named in honour of his contributions to Singapore.He was also awarded the First Class Order of Temasek.


Eulogy from Minister Mentor(Goh Keng Swee)

Eulogy from Minister Mentor 2(Goh Keng Swee)

Eulogy from Grand Niece Marian Hu(Goh Keng Swee)