A journey of ironies

Surprising roles and varied interests

He was a political detainee but was later invited by the PAP to run as a candidate, a radical student activist who became the founder-chairman of Singapore's third national university. Ho Kwon Ping's book Asking Why is a collection of speeches and articles from a public intellectual and businessman whose career has sometimes taken improbable turns. Here are excerpts on key chapters of his life.

Without planning, forethought or intention, I had slowly segued from being a student activist and radical journalist to a family-business custodian and then an entrepreneur.

I enjoyed business tremendously, partly because it gave me the financial independence to have to report to no one, but also because of the freedom to pursue any, and even all, of my interests.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on September 30, 2018, with the headline 'Surprising roles and varied interests'. Subscribe