Ex-PAP leader Woodhull dies at 71

  • Nation
  • Saturday, 29 Nov 2003

Saturday November 29, 2003

Ex-PAP leader Woodhull dies at 71

KUALA LUMPUR: Veteran politician, lawyer and unionist Sandrasegaran Woodhull (Sidney) died at a hospital in Singapore on Wednesday. He was 71. 

He was admitted for heart surgery and was in hospital for about a month, a family member said. 

A wake was held at Mount Vernon crematorium in Singapore last night and his ashes would be brought back to Kuala Lumpur where a memorial service has been planned. 

He was a senior partner with law firm of Shearne Delamore & Co, where he worked for over 30 years until his retirement in December 2000. 

He is survived by his wife Tsu Ping, daughters Anashuya and Anuita, son Anshumann and granddaughter Lara Sayana Bell. 

Former judge and former Human Rights Commission of Malaysia member Datuk Mahadev Shankar said Woodhull “was never short of anything to say, had strong views on everything and spoke with great confidence.” 

Singapore’s former prime minister Lee Kuan Yew appointed the young Woodhull, who was studying at the University of Malaya in Singapore and co-founded the university’s Socialist Club, secretary of the Naval Base Labour Union in 1952. 

In No Man is an Island: A Study of Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew, James Minchin wrote that Woodhull and the other young English-educated graduates whom Lee had chosen “had a mind and outlook of their own.” 

Woodhull rose to become one of the “Big Six” trade union leaders in Singapore. 

He joined the People’s Action Party (PAP) and was detained with other party leaders by the British after student riots in 1956. When the PAP won the elections in 1959, Lee made their release a condition for forming the government. 

After Woodhull’s release, Lee appointed him political secretary to the Health Minister. 

He studied law and returned to Kuala Lumpur where he was called to the Malaysian Bar in 1967. – Bernama