State flag and vigil guards for S R Nathan's lying in state at Parliament House; public can pay respects on Aug 25

The casket of former president S R Nathan being carried into his home on Aug 23, 2016. ST PHOTO: DESMOND FOO

SINGAPORE - A state flag will be draped over former President S R Nathan's casket, and vigil guards will be mounted as a mark of respect while he lies in state at Parliament House on Thursday (Aug 25).

These are the highest state honours accorded to a deceased leader, said the State Funeral Organising Committee in a release on Wednesday.

Members of the public can pay their last respects to Mr Nathan at Parliament House from 10am to 10pm on Thursday.

They should enter the Padang via St Andrew's Road from City Hall MRT Station.

There will be security screening stations at the Promenade, which is the entry point to Parliament House for the lying in state. Visitors should follow the instructions of the marshals, and police at the checkpoints, authorities said.

In addition, no aerial drones are allowed in the area around Parliament House without a permit, as it is protected area under the Air Navigation Act.

Mr Nathan died peacefully on Aug 22 at the Singapore General Hospital after suffering a stroke. He was 92.

A private wake is being held for family and friends at his home in Ceylon Road.

At 8.45am on Thursday, a private hearse carrying the casket will make its way from Mr Nathan's residence to Parliament House.

The hearse will be received by the Speaker of Parliament Halimah Yacob.

A coffin bearer party, comprising nine officers from the army, navy, air force and police force will transfer the casket onto the bier for the lying in state at Parliament House.

Entry for queue to lying in state. PHOTO: MCI

At the Parliament House, the Singapore flag will be draped over the casket in the presence of Mr Nathan's family.

It is placed over the casket with the crescent and stars lying over the head and close to the heart.

Medals representing Mr Nathan's achievements will also be displayed.

The medals on display include the The Order of Temasek (First Class; 2013), Meritorious Service Medal (1974), Public Administration Medal (Silver; 1967), and Public Service Star (1964).

Vigil guards will be mounted as a special mark of respect, said the statement.

"The traditional mounting of vigil guards during the lying in state symbolises the highest form of respect accorded to the deceased," the statement said.

It comprises four uniformed officers each standing at a corner of the casket with his head bowed, back turned away and ceremonial sword inverted.

The guards will be led by a senior officer at the head of the casket, and will include officers from army, navy, air force and police force.

President Tony Tan Keng Yam and Mrs Tan will then pay their respects to the late Mr Nathan.

A state funeral service will be held from 3pm on Friday (Aug 26) at the NUS University Cultural Centre.

It will be followed by a private cremation at Mandai Crematorium.

More details are available at the Remembering S R Nathan website and Facebook page. Members of the public with queries can also call the hotline at 6336-1166.

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