PM Lee to deliver eulogy at memorial service

Singapore Prime MInister Lee Hsien (second from right) arrives at Masjid Sultan to pay his last respects to late Othman Wok, a member of independent Singapore's first Cabinet at a funeral prayers in Singapore on April 18, 2017.
Singapore Prime MInister Lee Hsien (second from right) arrives at Masjid Sultan to pay his last respects to late Othman Wok, a member of independent Singapore's first Cabinet at a funeral prayers in Singapore on April 18, 2017. PHOTO: AFP

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong will deliver a eulogy for the late Mr Othman Wok at a memorial service to be held at Victoria Concert Hall today.

Five others will also be speaking at the service organised by racial harmony advocacy group OnePeople.sg.

They are Minister for Communications and Information and Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs Yaacob Ibrahim; Minister of State Janil Puthucheary; Member of Parliament for Pasir Panjang from 1980 to 1991, Mr Abbas Abu Amin; MP for West Coast GRC Patrick Tay; and Mr Munir Shah, Mr Othman's son-in-law.

In a statement yesterday, Dr Puthucheary, who is chairman of OnePeople.sg, said: "Tuan Haji Othman Wok was a beacon for multiracial ideals and along with our pioneers helped lay the foundations of peace and harmony in Singapore. Today, we remember his life and his work as an inspiration to all Singaporeans."

More than 600 invited people are expected to attend the service, including President Tony Tan Keng Yam, Cabinet ministers, members of the judiciary, MPs and senior civil servants, as well as Mr Othman's family, his close friends and Old Guard colleagues.

Grassroots leaders from Pasir Panjang, the constituency Mr Othman represented for 18 years, will also be there, along with representatives from religious bodies, self-help groups and unions.

During the service, a video commemorating Mr Othman's contributions to Singapore will be screened. He was a member of independent Singapore's first Cabinet, and a champion of multiracialism.

At the end of the service, guests will observe a minute of silence and Majulah Singapura will be played.

Some roads will be closed to traffic to facilitate security arrangements for the service, said the State-assisted Funeral Organising Committee.

The affected roads, including Fullerton Road, Connaught Drive, St Andrew's Road (between Parliament Place and Coleman Street), Old Parliament Lane, Empress Place and Parliament Place (between Supreme Court Lane and St Andrew's Road), will be closed from 12pm today to 2am tomorrow.

Eight bus services - 75, 100, 107, 130, 131, 167, 195 and 961 - will be diverted as a result.

Traffic is expected to be heavy along surrounding roads and the Land Transport Authority has advised motorists to expect delays. Motorists and commuters can find more information at www.mytransport.sg, www.sbstransit.com.sg and www.smrt.com.sg

During the road closures, parking restrictions will be strictly enforced, and vehicles parked illegally or causing obstruction will be towed away.

The State-assisted Funeral Organising Committee also advised people against flying any unmanned aircraft, including drones, into or within the vicinity of Victoria Concert Hall.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 19, 2017, with the headline 'PM Lee to deliver eulogy at memorial service'. Print Edition | Subscribe