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Yeoh Ghim Seng

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Yeoh Ghim Seng
杨锦成
Yeoh Ghim Seng.jpg
Speaker of the Parliament of Singapore
In office
27 January 1970 – 17 August 1988
DeputyTang See Chim
Hwang Soo Jin
Tan Soo Khoon
Preceded byPunch Coomaraswamy
Succeeded byTan Soo Khoon
Deputy Speaker of the Parliament of Singapore
In office
11 July 1968 – 26 January 1970
Preceded byPunch Coomaraswamy
Succeeded byTang See Chim
Acting President of Singapore
In office
31 March 1985 – 2 September 1985
Prime MinisterLee Kuan Yew
Preceded byWee Chong Jin (acting)
Succeeded byWee Kim Wee
In office
12 May 1981 – 23 October 1981
Prime MinisterLee Kuan Yew
Preceded byBenjamin Sheares
Succeeded byDevan Nair
In office
23 November 1970 – 2 January 1971
Prime MinisterLee Kuan Yew
Preceded byYusof Ishak
Succeeded byBenjamin Sheares
Member of Parliament
for Joo Chiat SMC
In office
2 November 1966 – 17 August 1988
Preceded byFong Kim Heng
Succeeded byConstituency abolished
Personal details
Born(1918-06-22)22 June 1918
Ipoh, Perak, British Malaya
Died3 June 1993(1993-06-03) (aged 74)
Singapore
Cause of deathLung cancer
Resting placeMount Vernon Crematorium
NationalitySingaporean
Political partyPeople's Action Party
EducationUniversity of Cambridge
ProfessionSurgeon

Yeoh Ghim Seng BBM JP (Chinese: 杨锦成; pinyin: Yáng Jǐnchéng; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Iôⁿ Gím-sêng) was a Singaporean politician who served as Speaker of the Parliament of Singapore between 1970 and 1989.

He is one of the longest-serving speakers of any parliament in the world.[1][2] Yeoh served briefly as the acting president of Singapore between the death of Yusof Ishak on 23 November 1970[3] and the inauguration of President Benjamin Sheares on 2 January 1971.

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Simplified Chinese characters

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Pe̍h-ōe-jī

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Early life

Yeoh was born on 22 June 1918 in Ipoh. He received his early education at St. Michael's Institution in his hometown of Ipoh (in Malaysia) and at Penang Free School.[4] He studied medicine in London and Cambridge University in the 1940s, and was on attachment to hospitals in London before becoming a fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of England in 1950. His wife, Winnie Khong, was also from Ipoh, and they married in 1941 while both were studying in England.[5]

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Ipoh

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Ipoh is the capital city of the Malaysian state of Perak. Located by the Kinta River, it is nearly 180 km (110 mi) north of Kuala Lumpur and 123 km (76 mi) southeast of George Town in neighbouring Penang. As of 2010, Ipoh had a population of 657,892, making it the fourth largest city in Malaysia by population.

St. Michael's Institution

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Penang

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Career

In 1951, Yeoh returned to Malaya to become consultant surgeon to the Singapore General Hospital. When he was appointed professor of surgery at the then University of Malaya in 1955, he was one of the first locals to hold that chair. He resigned the chair in 1962 to set up what became a lucrative private practice, but continued to train medical graduates from the university. A six-footer, Yeoh was described once as "the biggest but fastest Asian surgeon".

Yeoh's political career began in 1966 when he was recruited by the People's Action Party to stand in a by-election in Joo Chiat. He won by a walkover and served as the constituency's MP for 22 years.[6] His preoccupation with medicine precluded a ministerial appointment; instead, he was made deputy speaker in 1968, and elected speaker two years later. In 1977, minister of law, environment, science and technology, E. W. Barker, congratulating him on his re-election to yet another term as speaker, said that if not for Yeoh's commitment to surgery, he "could with ease and distinction occupy one of the front benches on this side of the House". As speaker, Yeoh's residence was the Command House.[7]

In 1977, he also became the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Organization's (AIPO) first president.[8]

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Singapore General Hospital

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University of Malaya

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People's Action Party

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Joo Chiat Road

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Joo Chiat Road is one of a road in Katong and a residential conservation area located in the district 15 of Singapore. It won several awards including the UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation for 125 Joo Chiat Road. Over the years, Joo Chiat has become one of the hippiest and coolest towns in Singapore, with both rich and young professionals flocking to its savory cafes and restaurants. It has become a popular tourist attraction and many tour groups from all over the world travel there to have their memorable photo shoot with the Peranakan conserved houses. It carries a rich historical Peranakan colonial architecture and is infused with rich Peranakan culture, as it has the most historical Peranakan buildings in the Katong district. Joo Chiat was name after Chew Joo Chiat was famously known as King of Katong after his death on 5 February 1926. The Katong in Joo Chiat was formally an ethnic enclave of the Eurasians but today, it compromises predominantly a mixture of Europeans, Eurasians, and Peranakan Chinese.

Walkover

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Former Command House

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The Former Command House is a historic building, located at Kheam Hock Road in Singapore. It was the residence of the General Officer Commanding (GOC) of Malaya during British colonial period.

Awards and honour

Yeoh was a Public Service Star (B.B.M.) recipient, an active Rotarian, and a justice of the peace who also served as chairman of various boards including the Detainees' Aftercare Association and the University of Singapore Council.

In 1993, the National University of Singapore created the Yeoh Ghim Seng Professorship in Surgery in his honour.[9]

Death

Yeoh died on 3 June 1993 of lung cancer at the Singapore General Hospital.[10] He was survived by his wife, five daughters and 15 grandchildren.[10]

Source: "Yeoh Ghim Seng", Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, (2023, January 25th), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yeoh_Ghim_Seng.

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References
  1. ^ "List of former Speakers of the Singapore Parliament". Archived from the original on 8 August 2022. Retrieved 24 August 2022. Scroll to Yeoh Ghim Seng (1970 – 1989)
  2. ^ "Former Speaker Yeoh Ghim Seng dies at 74". Business Times. 4 June 1993. p. 2.
  3. ^ "House to elect a new Head of State". The Straits Times. 24 November 1970. p. 1.
  4. ^ Suryadinata, Leo, ed. (2012). "Yeo Ghim Seng". Southeast Asian Personalities of Chinese Descent: A Biographical Dictionary. Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. p. 1350. ISBN 9789814345224. Retrieved 25 January 2023.
  5. ^ "Ipoh couple to wed in England". Pinang gazette and Straits chronicle. 21 June 1941. p. 5. Retrieved 25 January 2023.
  6. ^ "POLITICIANS IN SINGAPORE ELECTIONS (Y - Z)". Singapore Elections. Archived from the original on 30 June 2007. Retrieved 19 February 2007.
  7. ^ "Command House". Singapore National Library. 2016. Archived from the original on 26 August 2020.
  8. ^ "BACKGROUND AND HISTORY". ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Organization. Archived from the original on 27 February 2007. Retrieved 7 March 2007.
  9. ^ Leong, Weng Kam (10 January 1993). "NUS creates professorship to honour Dr Yeoh". The Straits Times. p. 3.
  10. ^ a b Wang, Hui Ling (4 June 1993). "Former Speaker Dr Yeoh dies of lung cancer at 74". The Straits Times (retrieved from NLB). p. 1. Retrieved 21 August 2022.


Parliament of Singapore
Preceded by Speaker of the Parliament of Singapore
1970–1988
Succeeded by
Preceded by Deputy Speaker of the Parliament of Singapore
1968–1970
Succeeded by
Tang See Chim
Political offices
Preceded byas President of Singapore President of Singapore
(Acting)

1970–1971
Succeeded byas President of Singapore
Preceded byas President of Singapore President of Singapore
(Acting)

1981
Succeeded byas President of Singapore
Preceded byas Acting President of Singapore President of Singapore
(Acting)

1985
Succeeded byas President of Singapore

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