SINGAPORE: The wife of the late President Wee Kim Wee died on Saturday (Jul 7). Mrs Wee had just celebrated her 102nd birthday on Friday.
She had suffered from breathing difficulties on Friday, which worsened the next day, according to her daughter, Ms Wee Eng Hwa, who spoke to The Straits Times. She told the paper that Mrs Wee was sent to Changi General Hospital on Saturday night but could not be resuscitated.
Koh Sok Hiong was best known as the woman behind Dr Wee whom she married in 1936, when he was just a 21 year-old reporter.
The couple's devotion to each other was well-known.
And long before Dr Wee became President, she was already a constant presence by his side in his career, first as a journalist, and then a diplomat.
The couple had one son and six daughters.
Their marriage played such a central role in his life that Dr Wee included a reflective essay called "Till Death Do Us Part" in his memoirs.
He wrote: "Those who are going to make marriage vows - no matter what form they take - should think seriously about what they mean. Vows are made to be kept and one's word is one's bond."
In a Facebook post on Sunday, President Halimah Yacob said she and her husband were "deeply saddened" on hearing the passing of Mrs Wee and conveyed their condolences to her family.
"Mrs Wee was an unsung heroine in Singapore’s history. As the wife of one of our most well-loved Presidents, she served the people with grace. She was a steadfast advocate of education and providing opportunities for disadvantaged children and youth. Active in supporting charitable causes in these areas during Dr Wee’s presidency, Mrs Wee continued to do so in later years," the President said.
She added that Singaporeans will remember Mrs Wee for her selfless dedication to the late Dr Wee.
"Throughout their 69 years of marriage, Mrs Wee always stood by and supported Dr Wee. Their love story will remain an inspiration to many."