SINGAPORE - Former Senior Minister of State for finance Tan Eng Liang launched his autobiography on Saturday morning, retelling through stories and anecdotes of a life that saw him wear hats across varied roles in different arenas.
Titled "Simple Beginning: Building a life of integrity, resilience and service", the 79-year-old wrote it with daughter Lynn, and launched it at UTown with Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean, Minister for Social and Family Development Tan Chuan-Jin, International Olympic Committee member Ng Ser Miang, Ambassador-at-large Professor Tommy Koh and other former political and sports old-timers among the guests present.
Many of them penned tributes in the book and also gave speeches at the launch. Professor Koh, who has known Dr Tan for more than six decades from their schoolboy days in Raffles Institution, credited his old friend for staying committed and humble despite his success.
Prof Koh said: "The test of a man is whether a man changes after becoming rich and powerful, and despite his extraordinary success, he did not change. He is someone from an ordinary, middle-class family who has made Singapore proud in many ways."
Dr Tan is probably known by most for his involvement in sports. An Olympian who competed at the 1956 Melbourne Games in water polo, he was chairman of then-Singapore Sports Council for 16 years. He is currently the vice-president of Singapore National Olympic Council and also led the Republic's athletes to 12 major Games, including the 2008 Olympics and last year's SEA Games on home soil.
Said Mr Ng: "He may be tough and fierce, but his heart is always with the athletes. He has a soft spot for young athletes."
"Simple Beginnings" is sold at all major bookstores and on www.graceworks.com.sg for $40.