Dr Michael Wong Pakshong
Dr Michael Wong Pakshong attended the University of Bristol in 1954, and graduated with a BA in Economics and Accounting in 1957. He was also awarded an Honorary LLD by the University of Bristol in 1994.
Dr Wong Pakshong was born in Durban, South Africa in 1931 and had many fond memories of his time in Bristol. Coming from an apartheid background in South Africa, he deeply appreciated all the opportunities that Bristol offered him.
During his time at Bristol, he was extremely active as a member of the Wills Hall Junior Common Room Committee and amassed a wide circle of friends, many of whom remained as dear friends throughout his life.
After he graduated and qualified as a chartered accountant in London, Dr Wong Pakshong moved to Singapore, where he went on to achieve a distinguished career in finance, business and public service.
He served as the first managing director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) from 1971 to 1981, and laid the foundations for MAS as a central bank and integrated financial regulator. He helped steer MAS through its crucial formative years, navigating a turbulent global environment marked by the collapse of the Bretton Woods system, global recession and double digit inflation.
Beyond MAS, Dr Wong Pakshong contributed to Singapore through an illustrious corporate career, including helming the boards of several listed companies such as Great Eastern Holdings and Neptune Orient Lines and serving as chairman of the Securities Industry Council and the Governor of the International Monetary Fund, Washington. Dr Wong Pakshong also contributed to developing and strengthening the ties between Singapore and Luxembourg during his tenure as Honorary Consul of Luxembourg from 1995 to 2009.
Dr Wong Pakshong also served as the founding chairman of the Esplanade Co Ltd from 1997 to 2003, where he played a pivotal role in laying the founding principles for Esplanade as Singapore’s national performing arts centre.
Dr Wong Pakshong remained an active supporter of Bristol throughout his life. He gave his time unsparingly and was a great ambassador for Bristol, not only in Singapore but more widely in South East Asia. He founded the Singapore Branch of Convocation, which led to an active alumni network that operates in Singapore today.
Dr Wong Pakshong wished to support other students to have the opportunities he was afforded. Bristol played a key role in enabling him to achieve his potential and make an impact in Singapore and beyond. His family is delighted to honour his memory with the Michael Wong Pakshong Bursary.