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|Born||8 August 1937|
|Alma mater||University of Malaya|
|Occupation||Politician and Businessperson|
Suppiah Dhanabalan (born 8 August 1937), also known as S. Dhanabalan, DUT(First Class), is a former Singaporean politician. He was a high-profile political leader in Singapore in the 1980 and held several cabinet positions in the 1980s and early 1990s under prime ministers Lee Kuan Yew and Goh Chok Tong.
Early life and education
Dhanabalan was born in 1937 to a Singaporean of Tamil descent. He was raised as a Hindu by his father, Arumugam Suppiah, a clerical at a naval base. But later in his life he became a devout Christian (Brethren). His mother is Gunaretnam Suppiah. He went to Victoria School; and later to University of Malaya where he earned his B.A. degree in Economics, earning a Second Class Honours (Upper Division). He was the third child and the eldest son in a Tamil family of three girls and three boys.
He subsequently left the Civil Service and joined DBS as a Vice-President from 1968–1970. He was promoted to the position of Executive Vice-President and continue to serve from 1970–1978.
In the 1976 Singapore general election, Dhanabalan was elected as Member of Parliament for Kallang, as a People's Action Party (PAP) candidate. He was promoted to a Cabinet Minister and served in various portfolios, including Foreign Affairs, Culture, Community Development, National Development and Trade and Industry.
In his public account of why he chose them and what he felt were their strengths and weaknesses, Lee said his preferred successor was Tony Tan who is currently the 7th President of the Republic of Singapore. He felt that while the other three were all of prime ministerial calibre, each had a particular weakness: Goh was too stiff, lacking eloquence in public speaking, and Ong was too closely aligned with the Chinese-speaking masses, lacking appeal to other communities. In the case of Dhanabalan, Lee felt the 76% ethnic Chinese electorate was not yet ready for a prime minister of Indian ethnicity. Lee left the ultimate decision to the second generation ministers themselves, who went on to choose Goh.
- 1960 : Graduated from university and joined the civil service.
- 1961–1968 : Economist with Economic Development Board.
- 1968–1978 : Helped to establish the Development Bank of Singapore.
- 1976–1991 : Member of Parliament for Kallang.
- 1980–1988 : Minister for Foreign Affairs.
- 1981–1984 : Minister for Culture.
- 1981–2005 : Director of Government Investment Corporation.
- 1984–1986 : Minister for Community Development.
- 1987–1992 : Minister for National Development.
- 1992 : Retired from politics.
- 1992–1993 : Returned to government as Minister for Trade and Industry.
- 1993–1996 : Chairman of Singapore Labour Foundation.
- 1996–1998 : Chairman of Singapore Airlines.
- 1996–2013 : Chairman of Temasek Holdings.
- 1998 : Appointed a permanent member of the Presidential Council for Minority Rights.
- 1999–2005 : Chairman of DBS Group Holdings.
- 2004–present : Member of the Council of Presidential Advisors.
- 2007 : Received the Order of Temasek (Second Class).
- 2015 : Received the Order of Temasek (First Class)
Career after politics
- Senior Advisor, Nuri Holdings – 1994–1999
- Chairman, Singapore Airlines – 1996–1998
- Chairman, Temasek Holdings – 1996–2013
- Chairman, DBS Bank – 1999–2005
- Chairman, Parameswara Holdings Ltd – Current
- Director, Government of Singapore Investment Corporation – Current
- Member, Presidential Council for Minority Rights – Current
- Member, Council of Presidential Advisers – 2004–Current
- Member and Council chairman Emeritus, Asia Business Council – Current
- Founder Member, Singapore International Foundation
- President, Singapore Indian Development Association (SINDA) – 1996–2002
Dhanabalan is a devout Christian (Brethren) and attends a small church in Bukit Panjang – Bukit Panjang Gospel Chapel. He is married to Christine Tan Khoon Hiap and they have one son, Ramesh Dhanabalan, and one daughter, Shandini Dhanabalan.
- Teo XuanWei (23 July 2013). TODAY. Singapore. p. 2. Missing or empty
- "Graduates' Christian Fellowship via WaybackMachine". Archived from the original on 9 December 2004. Retrieved 24 July 2013.
|Minister for Foreign Affairs
1 June 1980 – 12 September 1988
Wong Kan Seng
Ong Teng Cheong
|Minister for Culture
Yeo Ning Hong
|Minister for Community Development
Wong Kan Seng
Teh Cheang Wan
|Minister for National Development
Richard Hu Tsu Tau
Lee Hsien Loong
|Minister for Trade and Industry