In the midst of all these flattering adulations on the ex-President SR Nathan following his demise on 22 August, perhaps it has not occurred to the mesmerised PM Lee Hsien Loong and his equally hypnotised Cabinet colleagues that there is still considerable anger among a significant section of Singaporeans on the disgraceful act of the PAP leaders in not according a State Funeral to ex-president Ong Teng Cheong upon his death. To add to the insult the PAP demagogues did not even have the decency to give a satisfactory explanation for the omission except from time to time they issued nonsensical statements that the Prime Minister and his spineless Cabinet colleagues have the final say on such matters. There is no quarrel about according a State Funeral to SR Nathan but that the wife of former PM Lee Kuan Yew (the mother of PM Lee Hsien Loong) was given a State Funeral upon her death is in the mind of discerning Singaporeans the extreme case of the abuse of political power. What locus standi could Mrs Lee Kuan Yew have to deserve such state honour? And how could she have been more qualified than ex-President Ong Teng Cheong for a State
Ex-President Ong Teng Cheong was known as the People's President during his tenure, a title which our ex-President SR Nathan would have like to be bestowed with but which had eluded him. This was the measure of the popularity of ex-President Ong Teng Cheong, especially among the Chinese. He incurred the displeasure of the PAP demagogues, especially ex-PM Lee Kuan Yew, for being too honest and straightforward in wanting to know about Singapore Reserves to the discomfort of the PAP wallahs. How the PAP demagogues could have felt so panicky about disclosing Singapore Reserves to the President may be enigmatic to the public but that they could have turned inimical to the President over this could be a million-dollar question to know. To take it further, they even showed their vindictive strain by not giving ex-President Ong Teng Cheong a State Funeral which he greatly deserved, at least more than Mrs. Lee Kuan Yew, to the dismay of Singaporeans who watched the comic opera with abated breath.
Ex-President Ong Teng Cheong had brought immense progress to Singapore even before he became President as a PAP lawmaker and Minister. He was instrumental in making the mass rapid transit a reality in Singapore which has benefitted immensely the commuters. The question of the withholding of his State Funeral upon his death will not go away from the people's mind and will resurface from time to time to the discomfort of the PAP wallahs, especially PM Lee Hsien Loong.
It's quite in order to accord ex-President SR Nathan a fitting narrative to his memory but quite a lot of the adulations are repetitious and some of his so-called achievements were really given a bit of cosmetic treatment. In any case, may the soul of eminent SR Nathan rest in peace.