Singapore pays tribute to late President Nathan

Singapore, Aug 23 (IANS) Singapore on Tuesday paid tribute to its first elected President S.R. Nathan who passed away at the age of 92, a media report said.

Mourners visited a memorial at the Istana Presidential Palace to pay tribute to the late former President who died on Monday at Singapore General Hospital after suffering a stroke on July 31, Efe news reported.

In a letter of condolence to Nathan’s widow, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong called him “a true son of Singapore” and praised him for his “deep sense of duty to the nation” and “varied and stellar public service”

Before his election as President, Nathan worked at the civil service, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Defence, and served as a diplomat in Malaysia and the United States.

He was elected President unopposed in August 1999 with support from the nation’s founding father and first Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, and served two terms before leaving office in 2011.

The body of Nathan, longest serving President of Singapore, will lie in state on August 25-26 at Parliament House where it will be open for general public on the first day while diplomats and officials will be allowed on the second day, according to a statement by the Prime Minister’s Office.

Nathan will be accorded a state funeral on Friday, which will be followed by a private cremation ceremony.

–IANS

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