Sunday, July 21, 2019
Raymon Huang on Mrs Wong-Lee at On Air Book Launch
Dedication of ON AIR book to the Late Mrs Wong Lee Siok Tin
A speech by Raymon Huang at the ON AIR book launch at Mediacorp Campus on 2 July 2019
On this occasion of the official launching of the COT’s book - ON AIR Untold stories from
, I have been given
the privilege, the honour of making a short statement about the late Mrs
Wong-Lee Siok Tin, to whom the book is dedicated. Caldecott
For me, to me, Mrs Wong-Lee was a “three-in-one” person- a good friend;brilliant fellow undergraduate; and a good boss. Indeed that was how our relationship was. So I would refer her as “Siok Tin”.
I first met Siok Tin when she was 8 years old. This was in 1945, in Endau, Johore. It was during the Japanese Occupation. It was at a resettlement village colourfully called “New Sayonan” or New Singapore. I was a fishmonger. Siok Tin’s father was the most loyal customer of mine. We became good friends.
WWII ended. Siok Tin went back to school at Raffles Girls’ School and I at Raffles Institution. We lost contact. But as fate would have it ,our paths crossed again. We were fellow undergraduates at
(later renamed the University of Malaya in Singapore). We were in the same
Philosophy class in1959. She was some 12 years younger than me. I was on a MOE
scholarship after teaching for 9 years.
And later, in 1971, our paths crossed again – when I joined broadcasting in
1971. She was my boss.
During my stint at broadcasting, the moments I remembered most were when we became SBC.
During the Monday morning meetings with heads of department, she showed her mettle and personality. She was a leader who led by example. Siok Tin was firm, yet friendly, she was unobtrusive, yet persuasive, she was meticulous yet flexible. Even when there were disagreements, she would win us over. She was never officious.
An example:she would ask me to go to her office to have a cup of tea., when she would talk about her Endau days; my teachingdays;my film censorship days; and so on.
Siok Tin was brilliant in every way- as a student, as a undergraduate, and as a broadcasting person.She was very articulate. She spoke “Queen’s English”;but without airs! Her credentials speak for themselves. In 1955 she was the winner of Rortary Public Speaking Contest. She was a teacher then. She often accompanied PM Lee Kuan Yew on his overseas trips. He trusted her a lot.
Sadly she passed on in 1993. But the excellent broadcasting legacy she left behind was not forgotten. In 2017 Siok Tin was inducted as an Honoree into the 4th Singapore Women Hall of Fame.
To me, Mrs Wong-Lee was “Mrs Broadcasting”.
“This book is dedicated to Mrs Wong-Lee Siok Tin who devoted her life to the profession of broadcasting in
. Her tireless devotion
and critical instincts at the helm of the national broadcasting station led the
station through the early and difficult times of nationhood’ Singapore
We have with us today her daughter, Karen. I would invite her to come up here to receive a copy of “ON AIR” dedicated to her late mother.
Posted by philtay at 1:29 AM