Sellapan Ramanathan

6th President of Singapore (1924–2016)

Sellapan Ramanathan (Tamil: செல்லப்பன் ராமநாதன்; (July 3, 1924 – August 22, 2016) was the sixth President of the Republic of Singapore. Often referred to as S. R. Nathan, he became president on September 1, 1999.

Sellapan Ramanathan
செல்லப்பன் ராமநாதன்
S.R. Nathan
6th President of Singapore
In office
1 September 1999 – 31 August 2011
Prime MinisterGoh Chok Tong
Lee Hsien Loong
Preceded byOng Teng Cheong
Succeeded byTony Tan Keng Yam
Personal details
Born(1924-07-03)3 July 1924
Died22 August 2016 (aged 92)
Spouse(s)Umila Umi Nandey
ProfessionCivil servant



Early life


Nathan was an Indian Singaporean; his childhood was spent with his two older brothers and parents, V. Sellapan and Apiram, in Muar, Johor, in a house near the sea.

By then the young Nathan had returned to where he was born, Singapore, to live with an uncle, and received his early education in several Anglo-Chinese Schools, such as the Rangoon Road Afternoon School, and later Victoria School. He started working before completing his studies. During the Japanese Occupation of Singapore, Nathan worked for the Japanese civilian police as a translator.[1] After the war, while working, he completed his secondary education through self-study, and entered the University of Malaya (then in Singapore) where he graduated in 1954 with a Diploma in Social Studies (Distinction).

Becoming President


His nomination was strongly supported by Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew (then holding the post of Senior Minister). He succeeded the 5th President of Singapore Ong Teng Cheong and was sworn in on September 1, 1999.

On 12 July 2005 Nathan announced that he was seeking re-election as President. He applied to the Presidential Elections Committee; by 6 August 2005 three more people had also submitted forms, but on 13 August the Committee said that the other three applicants had been rejected as unsuitable. Nathan became the president of Singapore on 17 August. He became president for the second time on 1 September 2005.

His term ends on 31 August 2011, after which a new President must be elected. He was replaced by Tony Tan Keng Yam after the 2011 Presidential Elections in Singapore.

Personal life


Nathan, a Hindu, was married to Urmila (Umi) Nandey and had a daughter, a son, and three grandchildren.

Nathan suffered a stroke on the morning of July 31, 2016 and was taken to Singapore General Hospital's Intensive Care Unit.[2] He died in hospital on August 22, 2016 at 9:48 pm SST, aged 92.[3] He was survived by his wife Urmila Nandey (known as Umi), their daughter Juthika and son Osith, three grandchildren, and his sister Sundari.[2][4]

Notes and references

  1. Zuraidah Ibrahim and Lydia Lim (22 Aug 1999). "He ran away from home when he was 16". The Straits Times. Archived from the original (reprint at Ministry of Education, Singapore) on 17 July 2007. Retrieved 10 June 2008.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Lee Min Kok; Chong Zi Liang; Yuen Sin (1 August 2016), "Former president S R Nathan in critical condition at SGH after suffering a stroke", The Straits Times.
  3. "Singapore's 6th president SR Nathan dies, age 92". Today. 22 August 2016. Archived from the original on 22 August 2016..
  4. "Sellapan Ramanathan (S. R. Nathan) [obituary]", The Straits Times, p. A9, 23 August 2016; Felicia Choo (22 August 2016), "Former president S R Nathan's family at SGH; Mrs Nathan holding up well, says daughter Juthika", The Straits Times, archived from the original on 23 August 2016.
  • 'President's tip on Ageing: Don't Think About It.' Straits Times. 19 October, 2007.

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