Old Guard leader Jek Yeun Thong dies at age 87

Mr Jek Yeun Thong died peacefully in his sleep at home on Sunday.
Mr Jek Yeun Thong died peacefully in his sleep at home on Sunday.

A chapter of Singapore's history came closer to an end on Sunday, when one of only two surviving members of the People's Action Party Old Guard leaders died.

Mr Jek Yeun Thong, 87, died peacefully in his sleep at home, with his family around him, his son Jek Kian Yee, 55, told The Straits Times yesterday.

He also said that in accordance with his father's wishes, the family had a private wake and funeral, which was held on Tuesday.

As a mark of respect, and in recognition of his contributions to Singapore, the state flag on all government buildings will be flown at half-mast today, the Prime Minister's Office said yesterday.

Mr Jek was among the 10 men who put their names on the Independence of Singapore Agreement on Aug 9, 1965, when Singapore left Malaysia and became independent.

The remaining member of the group is former education minister Ong Pang Boon, 89.

President Halimah Yacob and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong yesterday led the tributes paid to the Mr Jek, who had held ministerial portfolios in labour, culture, and science and technology, as well as served as high commissioner to the United Kingdom and ambassador to Denmark.

 

He made many contributions in his 25 years of public service - from mobilising the Chinese ground to upholding a multi-racial Singapore and advocating a Singaporean identity.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 07, 2018, with the headline 'Old Guard leader Jek Yeun Thong dies at age 87'. Print Edition | Subscribe