SINGAPORE: Industry leaders paid tribute to the late former President S R Nathan as a man who championed Singapore business by "expanding Singapore's international space".
Mr Nathan passed away peacefully on Monday (Aug 22) evening at the Singapore General Hospital, three weeks after suffering a stroke.
Mr Ho Meng Kit, CEO of apex business chamber, the Singapore Business Federation (SBF), said that "Singapore has lost a great man who has served the nation with dignity and distinction".
In a statement, he extended his condolences to Mrs Nathan and family, and singled out Mr Nathan's championing of Singapore business by "expanding Singapore's international space". He called Mr Nathan "an inspiring mentor who never failed to share his analytical assessment with our business delegations on the different prospects, opportunities and obstacles in the countries visited."
"Where possible, Mr Nathan also spared no efforts in tackling the issues faced by businesses by helping to remove the barriers to entry in the respective countries," he added.
Among other appointments he took up after stepping down as President, Mr Nathan served as chairman of CapitaLand Hope Foundation (CHF), the philanthropic arm of property developer CapitaLand.
Mr Lim Ming Yan, president and Group CEO of CapitaLand Limited and Director of CapitaLand Hope Foundation, said in a statement that "Mr Nathan played a key role in shaping CapitaLand's holistic approach towards corporate philanthropy and volunteerism".
Under Mr Nathan's stewardship, CHF moved beyond just providing donations to becoming an advocate for volunteerism, expanding volunteering days to China and Vietnam, Mr Lim said.
Mr Lim added that Mr Nathan's "counsel has been invaluable in reinforcing CapitaLand's social commitment to supporting underprivileged children in their shelter, education and healthcare needs".
CapitaLand also posted tribute videos to Mr Nathan on their social media accounts.
Singapore Airlines also posted on its Facebook page, saying it is deeply saddened by the passing of the former President, and that it conveys its sincere condolences to his family.
The Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCCI), in a media statement, said Mr Nathan will always be remembered as a "principled and staunch individual with great compassion for all Singaporeans" and earned the respect of "the elderly, young people, children and all who came into contact with him". It added that Mr Nathan "developed strong ties with the Chinese business community" and that he will be missed by all.