Former ISD director Tjong Yik Min dies

Mr Tjong Yik Min, who was director of the Internal Security Department from 1986 to 1993, retired from public service in 1995 and served as group president and director of Singapore Press Holdings.
Mr Tjong Yik Min, who was director of the Internal Security Department from 1986 to 1993, retired from public service in 1995 and served as group president and director of Singapore Press Holdings.

Former Internal Security Department (ISD) director Tjong Yik Min has died at the age of 67.

Mr Tjong, who also served as group president and director of Singapore Press Holdings (SPH), died on Friday at 9pm, his family said yesterday.

A statement from the family said: "With our heaviest heart, we are saddened to inform you that Yik Min has passed away peacefully last night. He would like us to relay his goodbye to you and thank you for being part of his life."

Mr Tjong was the director of ISD from 1986 to 1993, and was later the permanent secretary at the then Ministry of Communications from 1993 to 1995. He retired from public service in 1995.

Speaking to The Straits Times at his wake at the Singapore Funeral Parlour yesterday, Mr Tjong's sister said he died from pneumonia.

He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer last November and had suffered from heart problems in recent months, said Madam Tjong, 71, who declined to give her full name. He was hospitalised again a week ago after a second heart attack.

In a 1996 speech thanking Mr Tjong for his contributions to public service, Dr Tony Tan Keng Yam, who was then deputy prime minister and later became president, said his work as ISD director was "out of the limelight compared, for instance, with heading a high-profile statutory board".

"However, Yik Min's contributions at ISD were of critical importance, and had a direct bearing on Singapore's continued stability and security," he said.

After retiring from public service, Mr Tjong joined the private sector. He took on the role of group president of SPH in 1995, before resigning in 2002. He then joined food and beverage group Yeo Hiap Seng as its president and chief operating officer in 2002, before retiring in 2015.

Mr Tjong's wake will be held until Tuesday at Dahlia Parlour, level 3B. The funeral will be on Tuesday at 1pm and the cortege will head towards Kong Meng San Temple at 2pm. The cremation will be at 3pm, said the family.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on June 02, 2019, with the headline 'Former ISD director Tjong Yik Min dies'. Print Edition | Subscribe