Mr Edmund William (“Eddie”) Barker, a statesman, scholar, sportsman and supporter of sports, entered politics and became the Speaker of Singapore’s Legislative Assembly in 1963, and was Singapore’s Law Minister from 1964 to 1988. One of the longest serving Law Ministers in the Commonwealth, Mr Barker drafted the Proclamation of Singapore that announced the separation of Singapore from Malaysia on 9 August 1965. In his 25 years of service to the nation, Mr Barker was a strong promoter of sound governance, and held a range of ministerial duties in addition to being Minister for Law. He was Minister for National Development from 1965 to 1975, Minister for Home Affairs in 1972, Minister for the Environment from 1975 to 1979, Minister for Science and Technology from 1977 to 1981, and Minister for Labour in 1983.
A Queen’s Scholar and a top athlete during his student years, Mr Barker was a strong promoter of sports and served as the President of the Singapore National Olympic Council for two decades. Mr Barker is widely remembered as the driving force behind the construction of the National Stadium in Kallang, persuading the government to allocate the land and financial resources required for the iconic structure.