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The wife of Singapore’s former President Devan Nair, Avadai Dhanam, passed away today after failing to recover from an illness.
Mrs Nair became known for standing up to Mr Lee Kuan Yew during the episode when the then prime minister accused Mr Devan Nair of being an alcoholic. She stood steadfastly by her husband during the traumatic period.
Mr Devan Nair had subsequently revisited the entire episode when he gave an interview to a Canadian newspaper Globe and Mail. The Minister Mentor (MM) took offence at the remarks Mr Nair made and sued Mr Nair in Canada. The former president launched a counter-suit against Mr Lee to which the MM applied to the Canadian court to dismiss Mr Nair’s counter-suit. Instead, the Canadian judged threw out Mr Lee’s application and pointedly told the MM that his action is being brought in a country which prides itself in allowing freedom of political expression. Mr Lee subsequently dropped his own lawsuit against Mr Nair.
The late Mdm Avadai Dhanam had won an election under the PAP ticket in the seat of Moulmein in 1963.
The SDP send its condolences to the family.