Our 6th Head of State, President S R Nathan steps down today, 31 Aug 2011, after 12 years in office.
A man with the ability to connect with ordinary Singaporeans, from the highest to the lowest, here are my favourite quotes from him:
"Whether in the office of the President or in the executive arm of Government, we'll always need people of strong character and vision who resist populist pressures and the temptation to sacrifice the long-term interest of the nation in response to those who merely snipe without having to take responsibility."
"One of the things you must remember is that with all these gripes that you hear, people forget how we have arrived to this stage in our country. Could it have been done without the Government? That's my question. Much has been achieved. There are probably faults that have to be remedied, but we just can't distance ourselves from the Government."
"I've done the best I can. If it's good enough for some people, fine. If it's not good enough for some people, and there will always be noise in the environment, you can't stop it. You don't do it because you want to leave a legacy. You do the best you can."
On having a duty to Singapore;
"We can criticise, we can comment, we can abuse, we can say...but ultimately if it fails, we all fail. So that's the duty we have. To uphold it, to let it grow, to let it stand in the eyes of the world as something important, something worth recognising. So that's the duty."
On social media;
"I hear from my grandchildren about Facebook and whatever you have. So after I've stepped down, I have time and I will have to learn all that. But anyway, I'm not going into Facebook and tell stories. No point. Not all people on Facebook or whatever you call it, are honest people. Some of them are very critical of things without responsibility."