Friday, August 31, 2007

Biography of : Othman Wok

Birth and Growing Up Years
Born in 1924, Mr. Othman Wok describes himself as an
" Orang Laut "(literally, "man of the sea"), a descendant of one of a few hundred or so Malay families who lived in Singapore when Sir Stamford Raffles landed here in 1819.
He grew up in Telok Blangah where Malays, Indian and Chinese
children played together.
Information Adapted from:

Mr. Othman's father, who was a Malay teacher, enrolled him in English-language schools, beginning in Radin Mas and then Raffles Institution. He then furthered his studies in England.
First published in The Straits Times, Jan 25, 1997
Article adapted from:

His Career:
His passion was journalism, but being inclined in politics, he became an active trade unionist. Upon joining the People's Action Party in 1954, a period when Singapore was being separated by communalists and communists, and politics was a matter of life and death; he was editor of a Malay-language newspaper, Utusan Melayu.
Upon winning a Parliamentary seat on his second try, he became the Member for Pasir Panjang in the General Election of 1963. Thereafter, he was the Minister for Social Affairs, stepping down in 1977 to become Ambassador to Indonesia for the subsequent three years.
First published in: The Straits Times, Jan 25, 1997
Article adapted from:

After the Japanese occupation, he began working for Utusan Melayu in 1946 and became an editor. His political profession began when he met Mr. Lee Kuan Yew. He was convinced of the call for multi racial viewpoints in Singapore. In due course he joined the PAP. He fielded as a PAP candidate in 1959 in the Malay-majority, UMNO - controlled ward of kampong kembangan. Some Malays accused him of being a conspirator and was a target of ill treatment. However he did not lose heart. He was the Minister of Social Affairs from October 1963 to June 1977.

As PAP's first candidate for UMNO stronghold Kampong Kembangan in 1959, Mr. Wok lost to the UMNO candidate but so won the hearts of the citizens that in 1963 the new PAP candidate thrashed UMNO by more than 90 percent.
Later Years:
Following retirement from active politics in March 1981, he was Singapore's ambassador to Indonesia in addition to serving on the panel of the Singapore Tourist Promotion Board (STPB) and Sentosa Development Corporation (SDC).
Information adapted from:

One of his duties as a board member included being a special guide for VIPs by escorting them around places in Singapore. While being with SDC, he was usually involved with Malaysia or Muslim nations in promotions in Saudi Arabia and the Middle East. As a member of the Administration and Finance Committees, he interviewed candidates applying for higher-ranking posts in the STPB. While serving with STPB, he was also a director of Overseas Investment Pte Ltd. Now, he is a director of a few private organizations, namely Lion AsiaPac Ltd, Mindsets Pte Ltd and Utasan Melayu (Singapore) Pte Ltd.
Information adapted from biography book: Never In My Wildest Dreams
Call Number in Library: 324.25

The Singapore President recognized his political, economic and community contributions to the state development of Singapore, by awarding him with the Order of Nila Utama (2nd Class) in 1983.

Information adapted from:

He still lives life energetically nowadays and is in the midst of writing his third volume of Malayan horror stories.
Information adapted from:

His first volume, Malayan horror, was the bestseller in Singapore and Malaysia when it was first sold in 1991. His second book, Cerita-cerita Seram was published in 1995.
Information adapted from:

Done by: Gloria Tay,Heng Hui Yun and Sheryl Kiang

Class: 2 Faith


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