A generation of Malaysians and readers around the world have grown up with Seah Chiang Nee's columns on Singapore. Illness, however, has forced him to ease up and he has decided to stop being a columnist in The Star. In this farewell interview, Seah gives his readers an insight into his illustrious career as a journalist.
For the past 28 years, readers of this newspaper have been given a weekly analysis of the goings-on in Singapore through the column of veteran journalist Seah Chiang Nee, Insight Down South.
Seah began his career in 1960 as a Reuters correspondent based in Singapore. During that 10-year stint, he was in (then south) Vietnam for 40 months to cover the war.
He joined the Singapore Herald in 1970, as Malaysia bureau chief and later as news editor, before it was forced to close after a run-in with the Singapore Government.
From 1972 to 1973, he worked for The Asian, the world's first regional weekly newspaper, based in Bangkok, to cover Thailand and Indochina - Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.
He then moved on to be news editor of the Hong Kong Standard before returning to Singapore in 1974 to serve as foreign editor with The Straits Times.
From 1982 to 1985, he served as editor of the Singapore Monitor. And in 1986, he started writing for The Star. Seah also became the first South-East Asian to undergo a heart transplant at Sydney's St Vincent's Hospital back in 1985.
And he already belongs to that rare club of those who have lived for more than 20 years as a heart transplant patient.
Because of age and health reasons, Seah will no longer be writing his column. In an email interview, he reflects on this journey with The Star.
Can you share with us your thoughts about being a columnist in The Star?
With a heavy heart, I have decided to end my column in this newspaper. I am grateful to The Star for the writing platform it has provided me all these years, and you readers for making it possible.
Nearly a generation of Malaysians who were interested in Singapore trends - including current affairs, politics, business, education, and healthcare - have grown up getting their information here.
When I began writing, very few Singaporeans knew about it. This soon changed with the arrival of the Internet. The reason: within hours of The Star Online appearing, many social websites had reproduced the article, crediting The Star but often rewritten. I launched my website, Littlespeck, on my articles in The Star to ensure people get the original version.