Mr Wee Kim Wee was elected as the President of the Republic of Singapore by the Parliament
on 30th August 1985. He is born in Singapore on 4th November 1915 and received his early education in
at Pearl's Hill School. After that he went on to study at Raffles Institution and left the school when he
was 15, in January 1930. During his school days, Mr Wee was a very active sportsman. He played badminton,
table tennis, basketball and soccer. He also won the junior singles badminton champion of Singapore in
1937. He also spent many years serving various badminton bodies of Singapore and Malaya and eventually
ended up as the president of the Singapore Badminton Association and the vice-president of the Badminton
Association of Malaya.
After he had left Raffles Institution, he went on to join the Straits Times as a clerk at the circulation department.
He later moved on to advertising and reporting. Eight months before the start of the Pacific War in 1941,
he resigned from Straits Times to join the United Press Association, an American news agency which set
up its office for the first time in Singapore.
During the occupation of the Japanese, he served as a clerk in Japanese military establishments. When the
ended, he became a supervisor and a cashier of a large canteen catering to Asian seamen of Japanese merchant ships.
When Singapore got her liberation in 1945, he rejoined the United Press Association. In 1959, he resigned
to join the Straits Times as Deputy Editor, leading the editorial department in Singapore.
While at the Straits Times, Mr Wee covered the
civil war in the Belgian Congo (now Zaire) at the time when Malaysia sent a
special force to join the United Nations Command's peace-keeping force. He also
covered the official visits of Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew to Indonesia and to
several countries in Eastern Europe.
In 1966, he was the first Singaporean journalist
to enter Jakarta during Confrontation and interview Lieutenant-General Suharto
and Foreign Minister Mr Adam Malik when President Sukarno was still confined to
the palace in Bogor. Through reports of his exclusive interviews, both Singapore and Malaysia learnt for
the first time of Indonesia's intention to end the Confrontation.
In the year 1973 which is two years before his retirement from the Straits Times, the Singapore Government
offered him the post of High Commission of Malaysia. This is a post with a service term of three years, Mr
Wee ended up serving a total of seven years, with the last two years as dean of diplomatic corps in Kuala Lumpur.
Mr Wee also served as a member of the Singapore delegation to the United Nations General Assembly in 1977.
He was appointed Ambassador to Japan in
September 1980 and concurrently Ambassador to the Republic of Korea in February
1981. He returned to Singapore in April 1984 and assumed the position of Chairman of the Singapore
Broadcasting Corporation (SBC, but currently known as TCS).
Mr Wee served on six statutory boards: Rent
Control Board; Film Appeal Committee; Land Acquisition Board; Board of Visiting
Justices; National Theatre Trust; and Singapore Broadcasting Corporation.
In 1966, he was appointed a Justice of the
Peace. In 1963, he was awarded the Public Service Star for his public work and
in 1979, the Meritorious Service Medal for his diplomatic services