S R NATHAN 1924 — 2016

Making 'mission impossible' a reality

Professor Koh with Mr Nathan at the 2005 launch of a book titled The Little Red Dot: Reflections By Singapore's Diplomats.
Professor Koh with Mr Nathan at the 2005 launch of a book titled The Little Red Dot: Reflections By Singapore's Diplomats.LIANHE ZAOBAO FILE PHOTO

Ambassador-at-Large Tommy Koh, on Mr S R Nathan's role in building up the Foreign Service. "A few months ago, he invited about a dozen of these bright young officers, now grown old, to join him for lunch.

He wanted to thank them for having helped him to succeed in his 'mission impossible' (of transforming the Foreign Affairs Ministry and Foreign Service in their formative years) and to explain why he was such a demanding boss.

It was a poignant occasion because we knew in our hearts that this would be the last reunion with 'The Boss'. Because of the strong foundation that he had laid, the ministry and the service are considered among the best in the world."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 27, 2016, with the headline 'Making 'mission impossible' a reality'. Print Edition | Subscribe