Yusof Ishak was the only S'pore president to live in The Istana

Most other presidents resided in the east of Singapore in their own homes.

Joshua Lee| #SG200| September 13, 03:21 AM

#SG200 is not a celebration. It's a commemoration. What's the difference? Maybe this and other articles might help.

The Istana is the official residence of the president of Singapore.

However, none of our presidents have ever lived in it, except Yusof Ishak.

The Istana is 150 years old

The current Istana that we see today was constructed in October 1869.

In 2019, it is 150 years old.

It was called Governor's House previously.

It was the official residence of 21 colonial governors during Singapore's time under British rule.

However, since Benjamin Sheares took office in 1971, no other president has lived in the Istana.

The Istana was and is used as the office of sitting presidents.

It is largely a place to welcome and host dinners for foreign dignitaries, such as former Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping and then U.S. President George Bush in 1992.

Deng Xiaopeng meeting President Benjamin Sheares in 1978. Source: Istana

U.S. President George Bush at the Istana in 1992. Source: NAS

So, where did our presidents live if they didn't reside in the Istana?

Yusof Ishak

Yusof was the only one among our past presidents who resided in the Istana.

For trivia's sake, he also had a home in Opera Estate -- a landed property locale in Bedok.

Via NAS.

Benjamin Sheares

Sheares and his family lived on Holt Road.

While Sheares held the highest office in Singapore, he always returned home daily for lunch and dinner.

Via NAS.

Devan Nair

Despite our best efforts, we could not find out the location of Devan Nair's private home.


Wee Kim Wee

Wee famously said that he would not be able to sleep in a place as huge as the Istana.

So, he instead chose to remain living in his Siglap Plain home.

Via NAS.

Ong Teng Cheong

Singapore's first popularly elected president stayed in a bungalow designed by famed architect Frank Brewer in Dalvey Estate.

His architect firm Ong and Ong did the restoration work on the house.

Via NAS.

Ong Teng Cheong's home at No.1 Dalvey Estate. Via NAS.

S R Nathan

Nathan lived in a house along Ceylon Road.

Via NAS.

He was a frequent visitor of East Coast Park, which led to this one time where he agreed to photobomb a couple's wedding photo shoot, much to their delight.

Tony Tan

We are not too sure where exactly Tan's home is, but it seems like he has at least two residences.

Previous news reports indicated that he has houses at Greendale Avenue and Emerald Hill.

Via NAS.

Halimah Yacob

Singapore's eighth president initially announced that she will continue to live in her five-room HDB flat in Yishun Avenue 4.

It was later reported she moved to Bournemouth Road.

Via Mothership

#SG200 is not a celebration. It's a commemoration. What's the difference? Click the logo. Maybe these articles might help.