Monday, April 4, 2011

Passing of our Ex-CE

I was so sad last Tue, 29 Mar 11, morning when I heard that our formal CE has just passed away the day before.
Read the original article below.

The former Chief Executive of Singapore's Defence Science and Technology Agency (DSTA), Soh Kong Pheng, died on Monday (28 March) from kidney cancer, aged 60.

Mr Soh stepped down as Chief Executive of DSTA in December 2010, having announced his retirement a month before upon learning of his ailment. While being treated for kidney cancer, he contracted dengue fever and had to suspend his cancer treatment.

His daughter, 25-year old Soh Lee Ling, said: "After my father's retirement, we had planned to travel to the US around January or February to visit my elder sister and her newborn daughter, and celebrate Chinese New Year together as a family. However, after he fell ill, we had to remain in Singapore so that he could receive treatment."

According to Ms Soh, although her father was busy with work, he always cared and though for his family, even when he was sick in bed.

When Mr Soh retired last year, his colleagues in DSTA compiled a commemorative book for him. In it, an individual penned a message saying: "Mr Soh was a modest gentleman. Even after assuming the post of Chief Executive, he still treated all his staff as equals. Whenever introducing me to others, he would describe me as his "colleague" rather than his "chauffeur"."

According to a DSTA spokesperson, staff members are saddened by Mr Soh's departure and they fondly remember his contributions to the organisation.

Soh Kong Pheng joined the Singapore Armed Forces in 1972 and has held several major appointments, including Head of the Defence Material Organisation. He was DSTA's Deputy Chief Executive (Operations) in 2000, and became the agency's Chief Executive in 2008. Last year, he received the Public Administration Medal (Gold) from the President of Singapore.
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One of the lesson I learnt is that we should not wait till we are retired then enjoy life. A lot of people have this thinking that I should save as much as I can while I am young and able to work and wait till I retire then enjoy life. But they forgot that when they are old, a lot of things they cannot do or enjoy. For example, when you are old, you cannot eat as much as when you are young, you cannot eat the nice & fatty stuff due to health reason, you cannot carry a 20 kg luggage to go travelling, you will not be able to change flights, you cannot walk as far as when you are young, you cannot climb a low hill, etc. There are many more reasons why we should not wait till retire to enjoy life.

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