Former Singapore defence chief BG Kirpa Ram Vij dies, aged 87
"He has touched many people and always remained humble and noble, something we shall always aspire to be," said his family.
SINGAPORE: Former Singapore defence chief Brigadier-General (BG) Kirpa Ram Vij, who was instrumental in setting up the Singapore Armed Forces Training Institute (SAFTI), died on Saturday (Oct 29) aged 87.
BG Vij joined the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) in 1966 and held a number of posts throughout his military career, including as the first director of SAFTI.
He was also Director Singapore Command and Staff Course and Director General Staff during his time in the military, said MINDEF in a Facebook post.
As Director General Staff from 1970 to 1974, BG Vij oversaw the transformation and operations of the Singapore Army.
He was also involved in pioneering the Singapore Command and Staff College - now known as the Goh Keng Swee Command and Staff College - which defined the SAF's capabilities to groom officers for command appointments, MINDEF said.
He retired from the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) in 1974.
After his time in the SAF, he served as Singapore's Ambassador to Egypt from 1974 to 1979, with concurrent accreditation to Pakistan, Yugoslavia, Lebanon and Ethiopia.
After his public service, he held several senior appointments at Neptune Orient Lines from 1981 to 1995. During his retirement, he spearheaded the development of Gateway Distriparks, a logistics company in India with Singapore parties.
"Today, we deeply mourn the loss of a loving husband, doting father and grandfather, a trailblazer and a pioneer of Singapore," his family told CNA.
"We will always cherish his accomplishments and what he has done in service to the community and the nation. He has touched many people and always remained humble and noble, something we shall always aspire to be."
Chief of Defence Force Lieutenant-General Melvyn Ong said he is "deeply saddened" by BG Vij's death.
"He was an exemplary leader and pioneer of the SAF. My officers and I are fortunate beneficiaries of his legacy and will continue his work to keep Singapore safe and secure," he said.
"We thank BG Kirpa for his many contributions to the SAF and extend our deepest sympathies to his family."