Former Singapore Prez's memoirs now in Tamil

A Tamil-language version of former Singapore President S R Nathan's memoirs has been launched here, according to a media report today.

In his book titled 'An Unexpected Journey: Path to the Presidency', Nathan recounts his difficult childhood, his experiences during the Japanese occupation in World War II, and his time in public office, where he held the highest position in the country for 12 years.

A Palaniappan, Head Specialist (English/Tamil) at the Language Services Department in Parliament, took one year to translate the 678-page book was first launched in English in 2011.

The launch at Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple in Singapore's Little India was attended by more than 300 guests, including Foreign and Law Minister K Shanmugam, the Sunday Times reported.

"Mr Nathan is an example of humility, utmost talent and a great man. He is also a guide to the Tamils all over the world. This Tamil book is a great work of the Indian community," Shanmugam said at the launch.

Nathan, 90, was Singapore's sixth President and served from 1999-2011.

Tamil Murasu, the Tamil-language daily of Singapore Press Holdings, sponsored the translation and publishing costs, and is presenting the book as a gift to the Tamil community here.

The book is not for sale, but copies can be obtained through donations made to the Singapore Indian Development Association, a self-help group of the Indian community here.

The book will also be given for free to Tamil students at Tamil Murasu events.

Tamil is one of the four official languages in Singapore. The others being Malay, Chinese and Engligh.