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Sunday, October 05, 2008

Funeral Service of J.B. Jeyaretnam at St Andrew's Cathedral (4 October 2008)

I attended the ceremony today, at the historic St Andrew's Cathedral.  I have never completely agreed with all his ideas when I first listened to his debates in Parliament in the 1980's.  But over the years, frequent travel as well as years living overseas have opened my mind and allowed me to critically examine life and politics in this country. 
 
In my opinion, JBJ is an extraordinary son of Singapore, who had undertaken enormous courage to confront a system that is so overwhelmingly crushing and harsh, in order to defend his belief in fundamental democracy and freedom.  For his perseverence, he had suffered greatly and yet remained unmoved, even forming a new political party at the age of 82.  Irrespective of whether you believe he had succeeded or not or whether you even agree with his ideas, I believe that, all Singaporeans owe him a salute, at least for the sacrifice he had made for all of us.
 
The funeral service at St Andrew's Cathedral began at 2pm and was attended by more than 1000 people including Singaporeans of all races and walks of life, as well as a few in wheelchairs - such is the support of JBJ among ordinary Singaporeans.  The entire main nave of the cathedral was full and chambers on the second floor as well as tentage in the cathedral compound were set up, equipped with huge screens of the proceedings.
 
Moving eulogies of this great hero of Singapore were delivered by his sons and multi-ethnic daughters-in-law.  Tears flowed among the many people who came to pay tribute to him.  The service ended at 3:30pm thereupon the entourage set off for Mandai for the cremation.
 
Mr. JB Jeyaretnam, Rest in Peace.  History, I believe, will be alot kinder to you.
  
 

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