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PM Goh Had Recognised Ong Teng Cheong as S’pore’s First Elected President

President Ong Teng Cheong passed away on 8 February 2002, at the age of 66. He had served as Singapore’s 5th president from 1993 to 1998. He was also the first president to contest in an open election after the Elected President scheme came into effect in 1991, during the tenure of his predecessor, President Wee Kim Wee. When President Ong passed away in 2002, then Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong, representing the Government, wrote a condolence letter to President Ong’s eldest son, Ong Tze Guan. In his letter (see below), PM Goh expressed sadness at the passing of the former president. “He served as a Member of Parliament until 1993 when he resigned to stand in Singapore’s first presidential elections,” PM Goh wrote. “As the first elected President, Teng Cheong had to work the two-key system of safeguarding our reserves and key appointments in the public sector,” Mr Goh said and added, “We had no precedents to fall back on.” PM Goh acknowledged the difficulties the government at the time had with President Ong. “But Teng Cheong applied himself diligently and worked with the Government to come up with the rules and procedures,” PM Goh said. “His efforts helped…