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Distributed for National University of Singapore Press

Not for Circulation

The George E. Bogaars Story

The story of George Bogaars, a civil servant who played a key role in Singapore’s political history.

Do civil servants make a difference? Can they shape history? In 1985 when John Drysdale published one of the first books on the political history of independent Singapore, George E. Bogaars wrote to his daughter with typical understatement, “I feature in it a bit.” Bogaars headed the special branch at the time of Operation Cold Store. He reported directly to pioneer leaders such as Lee Kuan Yew and Goh Keng Swee before they became political icons. He started the Singapore Armed Forces from scratch when he was Permanent Secretary of the Interior and Defence. He was the head of the civil service, involved in a dozen or so government-linked companies attempting to shore up the country’s infrastructure, and expand its business portfolio. He held the country’s purse strings when he moved into the finance ministry before his retirement at the age of fifty-five. His impressive resume belies a colorful, flamboyant character with a wicked sense of humor. Veteran Singaporean journalist Bertha Henson tells his story.

208 pages | 15 halftones | 6 x 9

Biography and Letters

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"A rare gem."

The Straits Times

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: A teenager in war-time Singapore
Chapter 2: “Escape’’ to Bahau
Chapter 3: Following in Dad’s footsteps
Chapter 4: Nearly not married
Chapter 5: Spymaster-versus-communists
Chapter 6: Spymaster-versus-communalists
Chapter 7 Building an army from scratch
Chapter 8: The public manager - and the private man
Chapter 9: Making friends and influencing countries
Chapter 10: Comptroller of the purse
Chapter 11: In a storm over Keppel
Chapter 12: The last decade
Chapter 13: Epilogue
Acknowledgements and References

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