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History

Speaking Truth To Power: Singapore's Pioneer Public Servants

By Hoe Yeong Loke

book iconWorld Scientific

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It is said that the duty of public servants is to 'speak truth to power' — to give honest, sound and sometimes unpopular advice to political leaders. Underneath the narrative of the Singapore story, as personified by Lee Kuan Yew and the first-generation leaders, lie the lesser-known tales of dedicated public servants in the nation-building process. Singapore's development cannot be fully understood without considering the role of those in public service during the transition to independence from the 1950s to 60s.Featuring oral history interviews from the National Archives of Singapore with 11 pioneer public servants, Speaking Truth to Power: Singapore's Pioneer Public Servants reveals first-hand, personal accounts of the civil service's transition from the colonial era, their relationship with the political leaders, and how Singapore's economic development was driven by sound public administration in those critical years. The annotated interviews make for an easily readable format for researchers and general audiences alike.Some of Singapore's pioneer public servants featured in the book include:Wee Chong Jin, The First Local Chief JusticeGoh Koh Pui, Chairman of the PSAAbdul Wahab Ghows, Solicitor-General and High Court JudgeHedwig Anuar, Director of the National LibraryKwa Soon Bee, Pioneer of Singapore's Healthcare SystemAlan Choe, HDB's First Architect-Planner, and Founder of the URAChan Chin Bock, Chairman of the EDBJ. Y. Pillay, The Man Behind Singapore AirlinesNgiam Tong Dow, The Maverick Perm SecTommy Koh, Singapore's Representative at the United NationsWinston Choo, The First Chief of Defence Force

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