PM Lee sends condolences to family of Dr Dixie Tan

SINGAPORE - Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has expressed his condolences to the family of the late Dr Dixie Tan, who passed away on Wednesday.

The former Member of Parliament (MP) died at age 78, after a two-month battle with brain cancer.

Here is PM Lee's letter to Dr Dixie Tan's husband, Dr Tan Ngoh Chuan:

Dear Dr Tan

Please accept my deepest condolences on the passing of Dixie.

I knew Dixie as MP for Ulu Pandan. She was elected in the 1984 general election, in the same batch as me. For many years before that all the MPs had been men. Dixie, together with Dr Aline Wong and Mdm Yu-Foo Yee Shoon, were the only female MPs elected in 1984. Far from being intimidated by their male colleagues, all three more than held their own, and stood out in the House.

Dixie was a hardworking MP, who cared for her residents and spoke up for their interests in Parliament. She retired in 1991 to pursue a second career as a family and marriage therapist, a role she performed with distinction.

Outside Parliament, Dixie was an active volunteer. She founded the Association for Educationally Subnormal Children (later renamed the Association for Persons with Special Needs) in 1975 and was Adviser to the Singapore Bank Employees' Union (1989). For her contributions to the community, she was conferred the Public Service Star in 1984..

Dixie impressed me, and many others, with her quiet self confidence, good sense, and gentle resolve. She knew her mind and spoke softly but with conviction. She pressed for what she believed in and felt passionately about, and ministers took her points and requests seriously. She also had a natural warmth and concern for others, which made people feel at ease with her. She entered politics even though her own sons Russell and Kenneth had special needs, and required her care and attention. She fulfilled her public as well as family duties amply. Her passing is a sad loss to us all.

My thoughts are with you and your family during this sorrowful time.

With my deepest sympathies