Devan Nair

Devan Nair

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Devan Nair

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Devan Nair a/l Chengara Veetil, also known as C. V. Devan Nair (Malayalam: <big>ദേവന്‍ നായര്‍</big>) (August 5, 1923&ndash;December 6, 2005), was the third President of Singapore and was elected by Parliament on October 23, 1981. He served as President until his resignation on March 28, 1985.


Nair was born in Malacca, Malaysia, the son of an Indian immigrant I.V.K. Nair, from Thalassery, Kerala. He and his family migrated to Singapore when he was 10 years old. When he was young, he received his education first at Rangoon Road Primary School and then at Victoria School where he passed his Senior Cambridge examination in 1940.


Initially, a member of the Communist Anti-British League, he joined Lee Kuan Yew's People's Action Party in 1954. He was the only PAP member to win in the Malaysian general election, 1964, winning the Bangsar constituency, near Kuala Lumpur. He stayed in Malaysia after the Separation, forming the Democratic Action Party, but returned to Singapore to lead the labor union movement and founded the National Trades Union Congress. He entered Parliament in 1979 by winning the Anson seat in a by-election and retained the seat in the 1980 general election, but resigned the seat in 1981 to accept the largely ceremonial office of President. This resulted in a by-election of the Anson seat which was then won by opposition leader J.B. Jeyaretnam, the first time in Singapore since 1972 when an opposition party...
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