Anniversary special: Our historic journey, your story

ST turns 175: CEOs, industry leaders, athletes and local readers on ST

(Top row, from left) Min-Liang Tan, CEO of Razer,  Samuel Tsien, Group Chief Executive Officer, OCBC Bank, Piyush Gupta, CEO of DBS. (Middle row) Paralympic archer Nur Syahidah Alim, Former sprinter C. Kunalan, SMU student Nikole Wong. (Bottom row)
(Top row, from left) Min-Liang Tan, CEO of Razer, Samuel Tsien, Group Chief Executive Officer, OCBC Bank, Piyush Gupta, CEO of DBS. (Middle row) Paralympic archer Nur Syahidah Alim, Former sprinter C. Kunalan, SMU student Nikole Wong. (Bottom row) Rhodes Scholar Edward Yee, SMU President Professor Lily Kong, Director of Roger&Sons Morgan Yeo. PHOTOS: RAZER, OCBC, DBS, SINGAPORE SPORTS HUB, COURTESY OF NIKOLE WONG, SINGAPORE MANAGEMENT UNIVERSITY, ST FILE

From Singapore's most celebrated retired Olympian to business leaders and professionals, readers from all walks of life share their views on the role of The Straits Times in their lives.

Alvin Tan Cheong Kheng, 57

Founder and Artistic Director, The Necessary Stage

Alvin Tan, theatre practitioner and founder of The Necessary Stage. PHOTO: NATIONAL ARTS COUNCIL

"The Straits Times in Singapore has always fought to champion the arts, fighting against all sorts of odds, and has come a long way. What the arts is in Singapore today owes itself to the generosity of its arts writers, persevering with previews, reviews and thought-provoking arts articles before, during and after arts festivals throughout the year.

"Sure, the relationship between journalists covering the arts beat and the arts community is filled with ups and downs. It will never be dynamic otherwise. Yet, through it all, in the broadest of the human mind, we were all working towards growing the arts in Singapore.

"In the span of a quarter of a century, Singapore has witnessed an exponential growth of its arts ecology. Arts writers have kept faith with the arts-makers. The future is uphill as the number of staff writers for the arts and the space for arts writing have shrunk as the arts community and arts productions continue to grow.

"The online market gives rise to competition to print. It is my hope that arts writing can involve the arts community more in the future, with writing coming from a range of academics (sociologists, historians, literature teachers) who have been invited to watch a play so that multiple or interdisciplinary perspectives are brought to a performance. That is one way to reveal how essential art is. I know it is not a popular proposal, but I can dream, can't I?"

Abdul Rahman Lal Mohamed, 56

Apac Food & Beverage Coordinator at Jones Lang Lasalle

Abdul Rahman Lal Mohamed, 56, Apac Food & Beverage Coordinator at Jones Lang Lasalle. PHOTO: COURTESY OF ABDUL RAHMAN LAL MOHAMED

"Newspapers are quite a powerful tool that circulates information to people. It is one of the greatest means of communication between people and the world. In addition, they are also a great medium of knowledge. We get our daily dose of news from newspapers early in the morning.

"It is quite a reliable source of information throughout the years, a dependable source that I have relied on in following the death of Lee Kuan Yew. It constantly keeps the average Singaporean up to date with reliable news.

"In short, the newspaper carries a lot of significance for humans. If we read the newspaper daily, it can develop our reading habit and make us more fluent. It also has mind-brain exercise games like puzzles, Sudoku and more to sharpen people's brains.

"People also want journalists to be fair to all sides, they want more than just the facts. People want facts, but they want more than just the facts in other words, people want context and background in the news coverage . But the majority of the public thinks the press has veered too far towards opinion."

C. Kunalan, 77

15 Seap Games medallist and five Asiad medallist, one of Singapore's most decorated sprinters

Former national sprinter and retired Olympian, C. Kunalan  holding a cast of his right foot, called “Best Foot Forward”, while a cast of his right hand, called “Passing The Baton”, sits in the corner.  ST PHOTO: JASMINE CHOONG

"Having been an ST reader from the 1950s, reading about sports and sports achievements of previous sportsmen and sportswomen and then being featured myself from the mid-1960s till the present, I see how ST has fulfilled one of its many roles of conveying sports news, inspiring past, present and future sportsmen and sportswomen and their families.

"I hope ST will continue satisfying the daily wake-up drug of many Singaporeans with the latest technologies in communications and keep all of us in touch with not only sports but all other local as well as global news and affairs."

Cheah Kim Teck, 68

Managing Director of Business Development of Jardine Cycle & Carriage

Managing Director of Business Development of Jardine Cycle & Carriage Mr Cheah Kim Teck. PHOTO: JARDINE CYCLE & CARRIAGE LIMITED 

"Congratulations to The Straits Times on celebrating its 175th anniversary. Through the years, The Straits Times has been an enduring storyteller of Singapore's multifaceted society and world events.

"Like The Straits Times, Jardine Cycle & Carriage has a long and storied history, marking our 120th anniversary last year. It has been a pleasure partnering The Straits Times over the years to deliver regional business and automotive updates to Singapore.

"Today, The Straits Times' innovative omni-channel formats fulfil readers' needs to stay informed around the clock. This success and continued relevance stem from the ability to innovate, and is indeed a commendable quality of The Straits Times. Our heartiest congratulations!"

Charlotte Loretta Lim Xin Hui,  18

NTU student

"The Straits Times has been a staple in the Singaporean household for many years, providing the latest local and global news and advertisements right to our doorsteps.

"However, The Straits Times has become more than just a newspaper to Singapore; adapting and improving itself and even starting corporate social responsibility initiatives such as the Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund, which was launched in 2000 as a community project to provide pocket money for children from low-income families."

"I have high expectations for The Straits Times in continuing to provide Singaporeans the latest news globally and including more Singaporean voices on important social and political issues, which will aid in establishing a platform for all generations in Singapore to come together and share their thoughts and opinions, helping to create a more integrated and ideal society where we are able to respectfully and freely express ourselves."

David Ng, 56

Property Valuer

"As a lifelong music fan, I would read reviews of the latest releases in the Life section and see what was worth checking out. Before music was so readily available online with the likes of iTunes and Spotify, those reviews would be a great help in deciding what to look for in a record shop.

"The Straits Times has done a great job in making headline news a lot more accessible through messaging apps like Telegram. I hope that they will be able to continue to find ways to extend their communications outreach in the years to come."

Edward Yee, 25

Rhodes Scholar class of 2019 and Co-founder of Givfunds

Nanyang Technological University valedictorian and current Rhodes scholar Edward Yee at his convocation ceremony in 2019. ST PHOTO: JASON QUAH 

"Since young, The Straits Times was how I accessed news from across Singapore and around the world. From its daily delivery in the wee hours of the morning to occupying my family's eyes over breakfast, it was an essential fixture in our living room. It has shaped the world view of generations of Singaporeans and with it, Singapore society.

"Looking ahead, I see a rapidly changing news landscape and the rise of fake news, democratised reporting, and new online mediums. The future holds both promise and danger. I believe The Straits Times could be a bastion of critical, truthful, and insightful reporting, helping Singaporeans navigate the years to come."

Glenn Tan, 42

Deputy Chairman and Managing Director, Tan Chong International Limited

Mr Glenn Tan, 42, Deputy Chairman and Managing Director of Tan Chong International Limited. PHOTO: TAN CHONG INTERNATIONAL LIMITED

"The Straits Times has provided Singapore-centric news with in-depth analysis and has served the needs of those who want to better understand developments and issues in Singapore over the past 175 years. It continues to give insights on how global and regional issues affect the country.

"It has kept Singaporeans all over the world updated about the latest events at home as well. As The Straits Times evolves formats, from print to digital, I am confident that it will continue to provide unparalleled in-depth analysis in new and innovative formats."

Ho Kwon Ping, 67

Chairman, SMU Board of Trustees
Executive Chairman, Banyan Tree Holdings

 Mr Ho Kwon Ping, 67, Chairman of SMU Board of Trustees, Executive Chairman, Banyan Tree Holdings. PHOTO: BANYAN TREE HOLDINGS

"The Straits Times has been an excellent chronicler of Singapore's modern colonial history. In the next 25 years up to and beyond its 200th anniversary, I hope ST will aspire beyond this role to undertake the most inspirational role of journalism: not to just record history but to also nudge, cajole, and even exhort in the most reasoned, eloquent, indeed impassioned manner, its community of readers and the larger society, towards a better Singapore.

"In so doing, it may also need to speak truth to power, but to do anything less would be a dereliction of duty."

Jacqueline Ng, 56


"Before the era of the Internet, we would look forward to reading The Straits Times every day to keep up to date on the latest comings and goings. Growing up in the 1970s and 1980s, we would most look forward to looking up social events or special sales or offers being advertised. In more modern times, with information so readily available, I hope that the paper can curate the best and most relevant happenings so that important information does not otherwise get lost."

Professor Lily Kong, 55

President, Singapore Management University

Professor Lily Kong, 55, President, Singapore Management University. PHOTO: SINGAPORE MANAGEMENT UNIVERSITY

"For most Singaporeans, The Straits Times has been part of our lives for as long as we can remember. We have become accustomed to the stories and analyses within its pages. On this anniversary, it's timely to acknowledge its significance to us individually and collectively.

"ST promotes both robust debate and intellectual tolerance; it reflects our ethnic diversity and national unity; it records our rich heritage and breathless modernity; and it celebrates not only our quirky popular culture but also our contributions to Asia and the world through our technology, commerce, sports and the arts.

"As Singapore's most-read news publication, The Straits Times has contributed through the decades to Singapore's nation-building process and continued to evolve to keep pace with the rapidly changing media landscape and news consumption habits of consumers."

Lim Ming Yan

Chairman of the Singapore Business Federation
Former President and Group CEO of CapitaLand Limited
Independent Director, Singapore Press Holdings

Non-Executive and Independent Director, Singapore Press Holdings and former President and Group CEO of CapitaLand Limited Lim Ming Yan. ST PHOTO: CHONG JUN LIANG

"The Straits Times has come a long way since it was launched on July 15, 1845. It documented many of Singapore's milestones, from British's surrender to the Japanese to Singapore's independence, and many more. Its rich history, together with its timely coverage of local and international news and in-depth analyses, has cemented its position as a reliable and credible resource for Singaporeans."

"Over the years, The Straits Times has evolved to remain relevant. It has now successfully established its presence online, and I am confident that it will continue to make good progress in the new digital world.

"As Singapore and the world continues to grapple with the pandemic, having a reliable and objective source of information is now more critical than ever for Singaporeans. The Straits Times will rise up to the challenge as always."

Lim Guan Sheng, 19

Full-time National Serviceman

Lim Guan Sheng, 19, full-time National Serviceman. PHOTO: COURTESY OF LIM GUAN SHENG

"The Straits Times has been, is and will be my go-to newspaper in Singapore. Other than covering a wide and comprehensive number of topics daily, the published articles are immaculate, not at the expense of maintaining a high level of expressiveness.

"Most importantly, ST is able to be relatively unbiased, which is my most important criteria when it comes to deciding what to read. I hope that in the coming years, ST can maintain its publication standards, and groom young publishing talents who will hopefully approach and shed light on controversial topics in society."

Min-Liang Tan, 42

CEO and Co-founder of Razer

Mr Tan Min-Liang, CEO and co-founder of Razer gaming consoles firm. ST PHOTO: DESMOND FOO

"Having grown the country's leading news platform is by no means a small feat, especially in Singapore's fast-paced environment. The editors and journalists of The Straits Times have gone above and beyond in showcasing journalism at its best.

"There can be no doubt that with the team's creativity and entrepreneurship, The Straits Times' will continue to play a transformative role in our island's media industry. Congratulations on your 175th anniversary!"

Nur Syahidah Alim, 35

TeamSG Archer

 World champion national archer Nur Syahidah Alim. PHOTO: SINGAPORE DISABILITY SPORTS COUNCIL

"The Straits Times has been reporting my achievements and milestones as a TeamSG national archer since 2015.

"The most memorable ST article was written by Rohit Brijnath titled "Syahidah takes aim and fires past adversity". The interview had a different vibe; it wasn't the usual questions about how I first started archery and my achievements. The interview was very personal, but in a non-aggressive way.

"I hope that ST will continue to share more human stories that will demonstrate to readers in Singapore that athletes with disabilities are more than just athletes who can achieve significant breakthroughs - we're people first."

Nigel Tan Joo Hock, 58


"The earliest memory of The Straits Times was my father reading it page by page every day. Over the years, it has been my primary source of information of world events and local happenings."

"Moving forward, I hope the paper continues its role as a trusted source of information and that future generations enjoy reading it."

Nikole Wong, 23

SMU Year 4, Student of Political Science & Communications Management

Ms Nikole Wong, 23, SMU Year 4, Student of Political Science & Communications Management. PHOTO: COURTESY OF NIKOLE WONG

"The Straits Times could be likened to a storyteller of Singapore's history and progress wherein it frames and communicates all the highs and lows which Singapore has navigated through the years.

The Straits Times has been a constant part of our lives, whether it was reporting on our victories such as when Joseph Schooling won the gold medal in the 2016 Olympics or about the challenges our country has endured such as the 2008 Global Financial Crisis or even the recent Covid-19 pandemic.

"Looking ahead, as gatekeepers of information, I believe that newspapers, including The Straits Times, bear a heavier responsibility when it comes to objectively reporting on current affairs, especially in a time where there seems to be a war what is 'truth'.

Happy 175th Anniversary! I look forward to the next 175 years of journalistic excellence from the Straits Times."

Piyush Gupta

Chief Executive Officer, DBS Bank

Mr Piyush Gupta, DBS CEO, speaking to investors at DBS’ Investor Day in November 2017. PHOTO: DBS

"Today more than ever, people need trustworthy and reliable journalism to separate real from fake news, and make sense of the dramatic shifts in the political, social and business landscape. As Singapore's newspaper of record, The Straits Times is uniquely positioned to take on the responsibility of bringing clarity to major events as they unfold.

"However, with the media landscape and technology changing so quickly, this will not be an easy task. To stay relevant, The Straits Times will have to rise up to the challenge of constantly reinventing itself to cater to a more diverse and well-educated readership, and delivering credible, newsworthy and timely stories and analysis daily.

"I'm confident that The Straits Times is up to the task having gone through this process multiple times throughout its 175-year history."

Sim Wong Hoo, 64

Founder, Chairman and CEO, Creative Technology

Creative founder and chief executive Sim Wong Hoo with Super X-Fi products. ST PHOTO: TREVOR TAN

"I have been reading The Straits Times every day for 50 years, despite the rise of new media everywhere now. ST provides more balanced reporting than other mainstream media. Congratulations, and thanks for the uninterrupted service provided to Singapore for the past 175 years."

Samuel Tsien, 65

Group Chief Executive Officer, OCBC Bank

Group Chief Executive Officer of OCBC Bank, Samuel Tsien. ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

"Congratulations, ST, on achieving this truly admirable milestone of your 175th anniversary. OCBC, being the longest-established bank in Singapore, and ST have many similarities - we both have seen Singapore through the highs and the lows; we both have expanded our coverage beyond Singapore to the region; and we both have extensively leveraged technology and data to continually improve customers' experiences with us.

"Over the decades, as Singapore successfully transforms to become an international financial hub, ST has blossomed into a respected and reliable source of news and insights with global coverage, put together by its wide network of overseas correspondents.

"Going beyond news to bring out the insights and expert analysis helps readers, especially business people, appreciate the significance of regional and global events. In this increasingly connected world, ST is also playing an increasingly crucial role in keeping its readers well informed and well educated."

Professor Subra Suresh, 64

President, Nanyang Technological University

Professor Subra Suresh, president of Nanyang Technological University (NTU).  ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

"The Straits Times plays an important role in reporting, explaining and discussing national, regional and global developments."

"From a university perspective, in addition to the focus on education, I also hope to see The Straits Times' continued support in raising public understanding of the importance and benefits that science, evidence-based findings, research and innovation bring to society."

Sui Wei San, 41

The Straits Times reader for more than 30 years

"The Straits Times has always been an indispensable part of my growing up. When I was young, Life section had always been my favourite owning to the TV listings and comics. As I grew, it evolved to an important source of knowledge. As I entered the workforce, I became more aware of world news and happenings.

"I lived through the era where Internet and social media were inexistent, and I cannot imagine a more reliable source of information other than The Straits Times.

"I am glad that The Straits Times had evolved into digital print providing much convenience of accessing the latest news on the go and I hope that The Straits Times will continue to provide readers with the latest news and uphold the integrity of reporting the facts and the truth."

Professor Tan Eng Chye, 58

President, National University of Singapore

Professor Tan Eng Chye, President of National University of Singapore. PHOTO: NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF SINGAPORE

"The fields of education and journalism share a beating heart - a common desire for meaningful change in society. The Straits Times has, in its own enduring way over 175 years, fostered valuable space for such change to occur - chronicling thought and framing discourse, parsing great minds and new ideas, and bearing the freight of many Singaporeans' concerns and sentiments.

"As we behold a future characterised by an unprecedented multitude of opinions and surfeit of information, I believe that The Straits Times' role in speaking responsibly, dispassionately, and clearly to society is more vital than ever."

Yeo Zhanyao Morgan, 32

Director of Roger&Sons, local woodworking firm

 Mr Morgan Yeo helms bespoke woodworking company Roger&Sons, a name that pays homage to his late father. ST PHOTO: SAMUEL RUBY RIANTO

"Growing up, The Straits Times was a regular fixture in my house. From reading about the latest news to cutting out key articles for English lessons and fighting with my brothers to have the first go at the cartoons section. It encouraged me to be curious about the world around me, especially in a time without the Internet.

"With our lives becoming increasingly entwined with social media, I look forward to seeing The Straits Times continue reaching out to the younger generation on this platform. My hopes are for The Straits Times to keep them abreast of the latest events happening around the world, to equip them with the skills to be objective and discerning as I believe these will help shape and grow them to become future leaders of our country."