62, social activist, entrepreneur & author,
mother of three.

How do you relate to Singapore as your home?

I am a daughter of Singapore. I have travelled around the world but this is home. I’m from the generation which sang three different kinds of national anthems, and went through water rationing and racial riots in the 60s.

What did you like best about growing up in Singapore?

I have seen how a little dot has grown into something we can be proud of. Of course, there are areas to be improved and many things we can be annoyed about. But there is a sense of belonging and foundation I do not feel anywhere else. It’s like home where you can get angry at your family members but you cannot cut yourself from it.

Besides establishing Banyan Tree Hotels and Resorts with your husband, you are also the chairperson of Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS) amongst many other roles. Did your children face a lot of pressure to be equally successful as they were growing up?

I am sure they did but they managed it very well. What we have taught them are values to define the way they should lead a mindful and responsible life. Children need guidance until they are ready to take flight. Then, they have to learn how to withstand difficulty and make informed decisions. If they can do all that, we have served our responsibility as good parents.

Grab a copy of The Birthday Edition for the complete feature
including Dr. Georgie Lee, Lee Shih Song and Baey Yam Keng.