Flashback Friday: Former Education Minister Lee Chiaw Meng dies on May 23, 2001

Dr Lee Chiaw Meng attending a freshmen tea party in the Ngee Ann Technical College. After a two-and-a-half year battle with duodenum cancer, former Education Minister Lee Chiaw Meng, 64, died at National University Hospital in 2001. -- PHOT
Dr Lee Chiaw Meng attending a freshmen tea party in the Ngee Ann Technical College. After a two-and-a-half year battle with duodenum cancer, former Education Minister Lee Chiaw Meng, 64, died at National University Hospital in 2001. -- PHOTO: ST FILE

After a two-and-a-half year battle with duodenum cancer, former Education Minister Dr Lee Chiaw Meng, 64, died at National University Hospital (NUH).

Duodenum cancer is a cancer in the beginning section of the small intestine.

Born in Singapore, Dr Lee studied at Catholic High and Chung Cheng High. After obtaining a PhD in engineering from the University of London in 1965, he returned to Singapore to join Singapore Polytechnic as a lecturer in civil engineering.

He entered politics in 1968 when he became Member of Parliament for Farrer Park after defeating Workers' Party candidate M. P. D. Nair in the General Election.

He remained MP for the constituency until 1980 when Farrer Park was abolished as a constituency. He then represented Tanah Merah from December 1980 until December 1984.

As Education Minister from 1972 to 1975, Dr Lee helped develop the polytechnics. He was instrumental in revamping the former Nanyang University, which later led to its merger with the then University of Singapore to become the National University of Singapore in 1980.

He was also Science and Technology Minister from 1975 to 1976. He left politics in 1984 to start his own engineering firm.

He left behind his second wife Mrs Lyn Lee, a son, two daughters, and two stepsons.

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