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Fifth President: Mr Ong Teng Cheong History of Presidents

President Ong Teng Cheong

My Ong Teng Cheong was elected as the fifth President of the Republic of Singapore on 1st September 1993. He was the first President to be popularly elected by the people.

He was born in the year 1936. He started his education late due to the Japanese Occupation in Singapore. He was a diligent and outstanding student during his life as a student. After completing his secondary education, he enrolled at the University of Adelaide, where he was awarded the Bachelor of Architecture in 1961. He acquired his post-graduate degree of Master of Civic Design (Town Planning) from University of Liverpool, UK in 1967.

Before becoming the President of Singapore, he had a varied career path. He was part of the Planning Department, Ministry of National Development in 1967 as an architect-planner. He was seconded to the UNDP (Special Fund) Assistance in Urban Renewal and Development Project to lead a local team in the comprehensive transportation and land-use planning of Singapore's central area. Then in 1971, he decided to leave the civil service sector to start his own practice.

In the year 1972, he was elected to be a member of the Parliament, and he served this post for 21 years. In 1975, he was also appointed Senior Minister of State for Communication, Culture and Labour portfolios. In 1983, he was appointed Minister when he joined the labour movement as Secretary-General.

In the year 1985, Mr Ong was appointed as the Deputy Prime Minister and he served in this post all the way till 1990. Between 1990 and 1993, he was Deputy Prime Minister in Mr Goh Chok Tong's Government.

He resigned from the Cabinet, the People's Action Party and as Secretary-General of the NTUC in August 1993 to stand for the presidential election when he got elected.


 Courtesy of the Government of Singapore