Karthy Nair, sister to Singapore’s ex-President Devan Nair, has passed away at age 90 on 4 April 2017.
She was one of the founding members of the People’s Action Party (PAP) in 1954. PAP came into independence in 1954 from the British rule, and has since remained Singapore’s governing party. In an obituary written by her son, Dhevdhas Nair, he spoke about how Ms Nair was fiercely critical of the party leader and prime minister, Lee Kuan Yew, whom she regarded as a British placeman.
Speaking to Mr Chan Sun Wing, a former PAP member in the 60s, he said that he has no recollection of Mrs Nair being involved in the party. There were also no records of her participation in public records, although Mrs Nair’s brother, Devan Nair, subsequently become a union leader in 1979 and the President of Singapore in 1981. He later resigned from Presidency and suffered exile in Canada.
After settling down in London in the 1960s, Mrs Nair mixed with writers, artists and musicians. She was a lifelong member of Liberty, the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and the Peace Pledge Union, had the horror of a nuclear war, and joined the protesters at Greenham Common. When Dhevdhas Nair was young, he wrote, he remembers their home in London being a safe rest house for women who needed a break from the camp.