‘Dedicated to making a difference’: Tributes pour in for the late Richard Magnus – Mothership.SG
Tributes are pouring in for the late Richard Magnus, a former judge and esteemed civil servant, who died of a heart attack on March 14 (Monday).
Magnus, 77, served in public service for around 50 years, starting as a lawyer in the early years of Singapore’s independence and working his way up to senior district judge.
During his years on the bench, he presided over many high-profile cases, such as the 1995 trial of Nick Leeson. Magnus sentenced Leeson to 6.5 years in prison for fraud and forgery.
Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon said in a statement that the late Magnus had been instrumental in implementing reforms to modernize court processes, reports The time of the straits.
“He served Singapore with honor and distinction in various strategic roles and will be greatly missed.”
He also led the commissions of inquiry into the Nicoll Highway collapse in 2004 and the SingHealth data breach in 2018.
Active volunteer in many public and non-profit organizations
Magnus served on various boards after his time in the bench.
Magnus served as Chairman of the Public Transport Council, Chairman of the Human Capital Singapore Management Board, Founding Chairman of Temasek Foundation Cares, Founding Chairman of the Casino Regulatory Authority and Vice Chairman of Temasek Foundation.
Assumption Pathway School is one of the schools that has benefited from Magnus’ work with the Temasek Foundation.
To get an idea of who Magnus was, you might want to check out The time of the straits Editor Sumiko Tan’s interview with him which was conducted at Assumption Pathway School.
It contains a particularly moving passage about what he wanted to be remembered for: compassion and love for people.
Magnus was awarded the Public Administration Medal (Gold) (bar) in 2003, the Meritorious Service Medal in 2009, the Public Service Star Medal in 2015, and the Distinguished Service Order in 2021.
Tributes from the President, Ministers and Politicians
The late Magnus also received several heartfelt tributes from local politicians, showing the extent of the impact he left during his years in public office and in his personal life.
President Halimah: “someone who always worked to serve others; to create a softer and more inclusive society”
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong: “Richard took on many public service responsibilities and threw himself heart and soul into them…He was principled, humble and warm, and touched the lives and hearts of countless Singaporeans .”
Minister of Interior and Justice, K Shanmugam: “Illustrious son of S’pore.”
Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister of Foreign Affairs: “Wonderful gentleman of integrity who embodied justice, integrity, compassion, humility and service to his nation”
Transport Minister S Iswaran: “Faithful son of S’pore”
Health Minister Ong Ye Kung: He had a life well lived, dedicated to making a difference for others”
Mayor Denise Phua: ‘One of the most respectable and pious men in Singapore’
Principal Parliamentary Secretary Baey Yam Keng: “A a man who has contributed unreservedly to the public service of our country.“
Former Chief Minister of State Lam Pin Min: Sterling’s service and contribution to Singapore…will be remembered and missed.”
Lim Biow Chuan: “A God-fearing man whom I deeply admire and hold in high esteem”
Rachel Ong: “Lived life to the fullest and walked with a mission to honor God and people”
Tributes from the embassy, personalities and other organizations
Magnus is survived by his wife, Eileen, their two children and three grandchildren.
Best images via Temasek Foundation and Assumption Pathway School.