SINGAPORE - Veteran public servant and businessman Tang I-Fang, who served as chairman of various statutory boards and sat on the boards of several listed firms, died on Thursday. He was 89.
Mr Tang is credited with transforming WBL Corp, or Wearnes, from a car distributor with falling sales in the early 1980s, into a diversified multinational corporation with businesses ranging from high-technology to property.
In 1989, Mr Tang was named Businessman of the Year.
He stepped down as chief executive officer in 2004 aged 80, but kept serving as executive director and chairman until his retirement in 2006.
Wearnes chairman Norman Ip told The Straits Times via e-mail: "I have known Mr Tang for 30 years and he will be fondly remembered as a strategic and charismatic leader.
"Under his chairmanship, the group turnover rose from $98 million in 1984 to more than $2 billion in 2005."
Before joining Wearnes, Mr Tang had served as the chairman of several statutory boards, including the Economic Development Board and JTC Corp.
He was one of the founding members of Singapore Press Holdings' board of directors, and served from its establishment in August 1984 to 2004.