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Devan Nair


Chengara Veetil Devan Nair, also known as C. V. Devan Nair (August 5, 1923-December 6, 2005), was the third President of Singapore and was elected by Parliament on October 23, 1981. He served as President until 1985.

Nair was born in Malacca, Malaysia, but he and his family migrated to Singapore when he was 10 years old. When he was young, he received his education first at Rangoon Road Primary School and then at Victoria School where he passed his Senior Cambridge examination in 1940.


Initially, a member of the Communist Anti-British League, he joined Lee Kuan Yew's People's Action Party in 1954. He was the only PAP member to win in the Malaysian general election, 1964, winning the Bangsar constituency, near Kuala Lumpur. He stayed in Malaysia after the Separation, forming the Democratic Action Party, but returned to Singapore to lead the labor union movement and founded the National Trades Union Congress. He won the Anson seat in the Singapore Parliamentary Elections, (1979|1979 elections) and accepted the largely ceremonial office of President in 1981, resulting in a by-election of the Anson seat which was then won by opposition leader J. B. Jeyaratnam (this was seen as one of the major upsets of Singaporean politics).

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