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The Late Dr Lee Kum Tatt, Honorary Fellow,
Singapore Professional Centre shares his thoughts

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Tribute to Our Pioneers and Unsung Heroes

            Many people have been involved and have contributed to the development of Singapore and made it what it is today. They volunteered and participated on an honorary basis, and some for many years.  Besides a few many of these hardworking and kind souls remain unknown and Unsung Heroes.

The government, with its old guard leaders, rallied the people to build a new Singapore since it gained self government status in 1959.   In 1965 we had to build a new nation or we would perish.   The government itself could not do much without the support of the people.  We had much to do but had little manpower and other resources to do what had to be done. The questions that were often asked were What can we do now ?  How could we get the people ' s help to participate?   The private sector uses money to attract those who need money and hope that these people are also dedicated to what they have to do. What have we in the public sector then got to offer? 

            When we were thrown into the deep end we discovered that there was plenty we could offer.  This situation provided an opportunity and a challenge for people with nationalistic feelings, unique qualities, driving passion and creative idiosyncrasies to step forward and do their part. How could we attract these talents?  We invited, mobilized, catalyzed and gave them opportunities to work together. A few thousands of these people stepped forward and volunteered to serve in various organizations which I was involved and over many years.   It showed that there are people who believe in serving good causes if given the challenge and opportunities to do so.  I like to pay tribute to these people, many of whom have become my friends.  These are the unsung heroes and pioneers who helped to build our S & T manpower, institutions, commerce and industries, professions and our nation.  These people served happily on an honorary basis in the Boards, main committees, sub and special committees of these statutory and independent bodies.  I am referring to the Singapore Science Council, Singapore Institute of Standards & Industrial Research (SISIR), Singapore Standards Council, Singapore Polytechnic Board, Singapore Science Centre, Singapore Professional Centre, Singapore Quality Institute and the many professional and other related bodies that were being formed then.

             You helped built the foundation for the fellowship and networks to be established many of which are still there and have grown.  You have shown that dedication to a good cause can be very satisfying and contagious. Without people like you many of the things we did would not have been done. The annual and other reports of the bodies mentioned above carry your names.  You are my comrades in arms at a time when we needed you most. I treasure your participation, contributions and support!    For those who are still in the circuit keep it up.  To know that people like you and the volunteers in charitable and community service exist and can be counted on is a very comforting thought for many of us. The only way we acknowledged and showed our appreciation then was just to give  a tie, a scarf for the ladies, a simple meal, a visit to my house and a medal to a few.  That was all we could afford then. We are very proud that many of you have risen to the occasions, to be leaders and made valuable contributions in your own ways. We are happy to be able to provide you with the opportunity to do so.  You have left something behind that benefit your fellow men. I will try to walk you down memory lane with some of the projects we did together.  We will try to recall why and how we started some of these projects, overcome the difficulties encountered and the joy we had when we succeeded. Hopefully! others may find it fun to try to do what we did.  History like this should not be forgotten especially when so many have benefited and are still benefiting from your contributions.  It is not possible to name every one of you but I hope you can identify the role you played, and the satisfaction and pride you had in some of the episodes that follow.  If you have some experiences with us that you think can inspire the younger generation please let me know.  I will try to include them in some of my articles where suitable.   

Lee Kum Tatt      

18 April 2007


Acknowledgement of Thanks

The SPC Secretariat has moved to Toa Payoh Central Community Club on 28 July 2004.
Our new address is:

93 Toa Payoh Central #05-01
Toa Payoh Central Community Building
Singapore 319194

We would like to thank the following donors who helped made it possible for us to have a new home

Public/Commercial Sector:

No. Company Name
Singapore Pools Pte Ltd
2. HQ Link Pte Ltd
3. Mr Perry Ng

SPC Members:

No. Name/Organisation
1. Past Chairpersons and Board of Trustees, SPC
2. Mr Yeoh Guan Huah
Chairman (2002-2005)

The Society of Business Practitioners (Singapore)

4. Mr Ron Chandran-Dudley
Past Chairman (1999-2001)
5. Assoc Prof Lui Hah Wah Elena
Honorary Chairman
6. Mr Colin Koh
1st Deputy Chairman
7. Singapore Institute of Aerospace Engineers/
Air Transport Training College Pte Ltd
8. Singapore Institute of Food Science & Technology
9. Thomas Yok
Honorary Secretary


Singapore Professional Academy
Singapore Professional Academy is open to all members of the Singapore Professional Centre. To qualify as Certified Trainers, members will have to attend the Talisman Workshop and be graded. Click here for more information on Singapore Professional Academy


Singapore Professional Centre
93 Toa Payoh Central #05-01
Toa Payoh Central Community Building
Singapore 319194
Tel: 6251 5503
Fax: 6252 4533