Grace Fu explains government's position why State funeral was not accorded to Ong Teng Cheong

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Responding to a parliamentary question, if the Government offered the family of the late former President Ong Teng Cheong the choice to hold a state funeral, Minister Grace Fu said that only a State-assisted funeral was accorded to him.

Ms Fu explained that the decision of if a State funeral should be held for Singaporeans who have made major contributions to the country dies, is made by the Government of the day after consulting the family. She further added that it is not feasible to set a formula as to who should receive a state funeral simply based on the person’s rank or appointment held; and that it will vary with each individual.

Ms Fu did not say if the family of the late former President was given a choice, but said that the Government held a State-assisted funeral for Mr Ong after consulting with his family. The state-assistance included the following:

  • The state flag was flown at half-mast on all Government buildings on 11 February 2002;
  • The SAF and Police provided the Coffin Bearer party; vigil guards were deployed as a mark of respect;
  • There was an escort band for the funeral march; the SAF helped to organise the family wake and crematorium service, and the Police assisted in crowd and traffic control.

Ms Fu was responding to Non-Constituency Member of Parliament Dennis Tan’s question.