Singaporeans pen messages, condolences

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Mr Nathan cried when asked to stand for President

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'A giant of his time'

VISITORS: (Right, from left) Mr Lim Chee Onn, Mr S Dhanabalan and wife Christine.
VISITORS: (Above) Ms Idranee Rajah hugging Mr Nathan's daughter Juthika Ramanathan.

Both DPMs spoke of the former president's dedication and efforts in nation-building.

DPM Tharman told reporters: "He was multiracial to the core, not just as a matter of principle or belief, but in the way he conducted his life, the friends he kept and the friends he looked after, the people he went out of his way to help. He was Singapore.

"He would always look for the person who was third or fourth in line, always making a U-turn to greet someone in a wheelchair, to reach out to a young child. He had a common touch. That was just him. He was like that and that was the way he will always be remembered."

DPM Teo called Mr Nathan "a giant of his time".

"He was dedicated to his service, duties and values which pervaded his whole life. ... During the Severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) period (2013), he called me and said, 'Please remember thermometers for the special needs children.' His values inspire the whole nation," he said.

VISITORS: (Above) Ms Idranee Rajah hugging Mr Nathan's daughter Juthika Ramanathan. 

Other anecdotes by former politicians and civil servants offered a glimpse into Mr Nathan's personal life.

Some, like former DPM S. Dhanabalan, 79, knew Mr Nathan to be a food lover.

He said: "He was rather simple in his taste for food. He loved food but was one of those who never liked very exotic food. Simple food that he liked, he ate in great quantities."

VISITORS: (Right, from left) Mr Lim Chee Onn, Mr S Dhanabalan and wife Christine.

Singapore's first Chief of Defence Winston Choo agreed.

He said the two things he would miss the most about Mr Nathan was his laugh and his "desire for food".

Former senior parliamentary secretary Yatiman Yusof, 79, recalled Mr Nathan's penchant for penning notes.

"Even for the smallest things... he would send a note in a nice card in his own handwriting to say, 'Thank you, Yatiman,'" he said, adding that Mr Nathan's most touching note was in a book the former president gave to him.

"He wrote, 'Thank you for being my friend.' That, indeed, is a deep expression of how he valued friendship with other people."

He was multiracial to the core, not just as a matter of principle or belief, but in the way he conducted his life, the friends he kept and the friends he looked after, the people he went out of his way to help. He was Singapore.

- Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam (above)

On Mr S R Nathan: 'We bonded like old friends'

Businessman who painted S R Nathan in 2014 says former president put him at ease

PROUD: Mr Chung presented the painting to Mr Nathan at his home on his 90th birthday.

He was meeting the former president for the first time.

But all Mr Chung Chee Kit, 68, remembers was Mr S R Nathan's friendly demeanour calming his nerves when they met to discuss the painting he wanted to do of him.

"It was such a great honour and privilege (to meet him)," the maritime aficionado and self-taught artist told The New Paper.

"He was such a personable man, and even though he was the former president, the conversation turned out to be like one between two old friends as we bonded over our similar backgrounds in the shipping industry," Mr Chung added.

That was two years ago.

Although Mr Chung, a director of the IMC Group, did not tell many people about his passion for art, his opportunity to do the painting came about after one of Mr Nathan's friends, tourism industry veteran Pamelia Lee, saw one of his art pieces.

Mrs Lee, 74, told TNP over the phone yesterday that it was a painting Mr Chung had done of his retiring colleague, former Keppel Offshore & Marine chief executive officer Tong Chong Heong, as a parting gift.

"I was impressed with his work, which was why I suggested he do a painting of Mr Nathan for his birthday.

"I called Mr Nathan and asked him if it was all right for Chee Kit to do his painting, and he said yes," Mrs Lee, who is retired, added.

Mr Chung said he was thrilled by Mrs Lee's proposal.

But it was his first meeting with the former president that remains indelibly etched in his mind.

They had a 30-minute chat at the Singapore General Hospital while Mr Nathan was undergoing a minor medical procedure.

Mr Chung said: "I wanted to paint him as the person that he was.

"Even though he was the president of the country, he wasn't uppity and truly was a man of the people.

"He didn't just say things because they were politically correct. He said them because it really was who he was."

Mr Chung finished the painting in three days.

Two weeks later, he presented it to Singapore's longest serving president at his Ceylon Road home on the morning of his 90th birthday.

UNFORGETTABLE

He said he will never forget Mr Nathan's reaction when he saw the painting.

"He jokingly asked, 'How did you know I had a suit in that colour?'"

PROUD: Mr Chung presented the painting to Mr Nathan at his home on his 90th birthday.  PHOTOS COURTESY OF MR CHUNG CHEE KIT

Mrs Lee, who was with Mr Chung at the time, said: "He wasn't a man of many flowery words. I remember him smiling and nodding his head in appreciation of the painting."

Mr Chung did not stay long during the visit, but the memory is one that he will forever hold dear.

He said: "He was friendly, approachable and had no airs, and I will always remember him as that man."

He jokingly asked, 'How did you know I had a suit in that colour?'

- Mr Chung Chee Kit

Even though he was the president of the country, he wasn't uppity and truly was the man of the people. He didn't just say things because they were politically correct. He said them because it really was who he was.

- Mr Chung Chee Kit, who painted a picture of the late Mr S R Nathan

Ministers pay tribute to Mr S R Nathan at private family ceremony

PAYING RESPECTS: (Above) Pallbearers carrying Mr S R Nathan's casket into his family home.

From the crowd at the private wake of Mr S R Nathan at his family home yesterday, it was evident just how big an impact he had made.

Mr Nathan, who was President from 1999 to 2011, died on Monday - three weeks after he was admitted to Singapore General Hospital following a stroke. He was 92.

By 8.30am yesterday, many had gathered outside the Nathans' house in Ceylon Road.

The media took up spots across the road, next to the Eurasian Association.

A group was solemnly preparing for the hearse carrying Mr Nathan's body to arrive from the hospital.

The eight pallbearers, comprising his former security officers, went over the steps several times to make sure that everything would go smoothly.

Mr Nathan's family and close friends gathered inside. The family had asked for privacy and declined comment to the media.

PAYING RESPECTS: (Above) Mr Murali Pillai was among the visitors at the private wake yesterday. TNP PHOTO: JEREMY LONG

Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong told reporters that Mr Nathan's widow, Madam Urmila Nandi, was holding up well.

He said: "In the presence of so many visitors, she's very calm, very composed and holding up well. But when you touch on certain subjects, like when my wife was talking to her, I could see her tearing.

"You won't know, until she's alone with just a few members of the family, how she's holding up. But in the presence of others, she's holding up very well.

"They had been together for many years. You must expect her to feel the loss at some time. Not immediately now, but at some time."

At 10.45am, the hearse arrived. With precision, the pallbearers marched slowly and solemnly, Mr Nathan's casket on their shoulders, into his family home.

Shortly after, Cabinet ministers streamed in and out of the house, with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his wife Ho Ching arriving around noon to pay their respects.

PAYING RESPECTS: (Above)  Madam Noor Aishah, widow of former president Yusof Ishak. TNP PHOTO: GAVIN FOO

In his condolence letter to Madam Urmila, PM Lee said most Singaporeans will remember Mr Nathan as "our longest serving president who served Singaporeans with dignity and distinction".

"I have known Mr Nathan for almost 40 years. I remember him as a man who lived his life guided by a deep sense of duty to the nation. Without fail, he stepped up each time. He was a true son of Singapore," said PM Lee.

At 12.45pm, Deputy Prime Ministers Teo Chee Hean and Tharman Shanmugaratnam arrived.

'A giant of his time'

I have known Mr Nathan for almost 40 years. I remember him as a man who lived his life guided by a deep sense of duty to the nation. Without fail, he stepped up each time. He was a true son of Singapore.

- PM Lee Hsien Loong (above)

Win ticket to Kit Chan's concert

Homegrown songbird Kit Chan, best known for her hits Heartache, Worries, and the ubiquitous anthem Home, will bring her Spellbound Homecoming Concert 2016 to the Singapore Indoor Stadium on Sep 10, at 8pm.

It is a sweet homecoming for the iconic veteran singer, as this Singapore stop is the final leg of her Spellbound Tour which kicked off last year. 

It also marks her return to the Singapore Indoor Stadium after 15 long years! 

Fans are in for an audio feast as Chan will perform her extensive repertoire, including tunes that are specially re-arranged for this concert, as well as tracks from her brand new album The Edge Of Paradise.

We have three pairs of tickets (each ticket worth $138) to give away, courtesy of Unusual Entertainment.

To win, simply answer this question. Indicate too if you are a TNP SuperKaki for extra chances to win.

Contest closes Aug 29, at 2pm.

 

 

TNP New Face 2016: Shwetaa Rai

Shwetaa Rai, 19
Communications student at SIM University

Shwetaa wants to tell her younger self to never neglect her family.

She said: "I wish I realised this earlier because I didn't spend a lot of time with my family when I was in my early teens. As I grew older, I realised I created a barrier between my family.

"Yet, they stuck by me. Whether it's the good, bad or ugly, the only people who will constantly stick by you is your family."

Who do you admire most?

As cliched as it sounds, I admire my parents the most. No matter how difficult the circumstances, they handle everything with a calm and positive mind.

They never let struggles get the better of them. They inspire me to do everything with my very best and to never let anything pull me down.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

I see myself having a stable job in the modelling or fashion industry, having a beautiful family and most definitely being happy.

What is your biggest insecurity?

My skin, but I feel a bit more comfortable now because I realise nobody is perfect. This is just my imperfection and I'm just going to flaunt it rather than cry over it.

What do you hope to gain out of New Face 2016?

I hope to gain confidence and feel more comfortable in my own skin.

Being in New Face so far, I've learnt that beauty has no specific name and shape. Everyone has their own beauty, different from the rest.

I also hope to forge many more friendships with the other finalists.

Who do you look up to for style tips?

Shay Mitchell (Canadian actress from US TV series Pretty Little Liars). She's my favourite fashion icon.

I feel the way she presents herself not only radiates confidence and originality but also her character and mindset. She's trendy yet so authentic which is something I really admire and want to follow.

See more at tnp.sg/tnpnewface16

Friends and family pay respect to the late president Nathan

Mr S R Nathan's casket arriving at his home at Ceylon Road.

Family and friends paid their respects to former president S R Nathan at his family home in Ceylon Road on Tuesday (Aug 23) morning.

Mr Nathan, 92, died at the Singapore General Hospital on Monday (Aug 22) night after being warded there since July 31 when he had a stroke.

Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam said Mr Nathan "personified multi-racialism. "He was Singapore."

DPM Teo Chee Hean called Mr Nathan a giant of his times.

"He helped build a stable and secure Singapore for all of us. I will always remember him as a caring person with values that inspired the whole nation."


DPM Teo Chee Hean at Mr Nathan's wake. PHOTO: JEREMY LONG

Over at the Istana, condolence boards were put up in front of the Istana for visitors to pen messages to Mr Nathan.

Mr Glenn van Zutphen, 52, was there with his two children, aged seven and 10.

Originally from Chicago, Mr van Zutphen, now a PR, has been living in Singapore for 12 years.

"I used to bumped into him at East Coast Park, when he took walks," said the president of American Association of Singapore.

"I was always surprised at how humble he was, taking a moment just to talk to a foreigner."


Condolence boards were put up this morning in front of the Istana for visitors to pen their tribute messages to Mr Nathan. PHOTO: ISKANDAR ROSSALI

Sales director Robin Leslie Lee had met Mr Nathan twice, once during National Day Parade in the late 2000s where he was performing, and the next time at a community service event.

Mr Lee, 35, said: "He acknowledged me first, asked for my name, and I was surprised. Why would the President want to talk to me? He remembered my name the second time I met him. He was a humble man, a gentle giant."

Ms S. L. Tan stopped by the condolence board after lunch to leave a tribute for the late Mr Nathan.

The 32-year-old teacher said: "It's quite important that this generation knows more about him, as he has done a lot for our nation."


Ms S. L. Tan bought a copy of Mr Nathan's autobiography so she could find out more about him. PHOTO: ISKANDAR ROSSALI

The body of the late Mr Nathan will lie in state at Parliament House on Thursday (Aug 25), where the public may pay their last respects from 10am till 8pm.

A State Funeral Service will take place on Friday from 4pm at the University Cultural Centre (NUS).

Popular Taiwanese Just Drink Milk Tea recalled: AVA

Just Drink - Milk Tea, a Taiwanese product, has been recalled by Singapore's AVA.

The popular Taiwanese milk tea, Just Drink - Milk Tea, has been recalled, says the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA).

The product contains the ingredient L-theanine, which is not currently on the list of permitted food additive under the Food Regulations of Singapore. 

L-theanine is an organic compound found in certain plants and teas. 

The AVA said there is no food safety risk associated with the recalled product, but advised those who have concerns to consult their doctor. 

 

Tags: Food, safety and Health

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