Yunita Ong – Straits Times
Scores of mourners ranging from high-profile Indonesian figures to Singapore schoolchildren streamed into Mount Vernon funeral parlor again yesterday to pay their respects to Indonesian tycoon Liem Sioe Liong.
Liem, who established a major business empire — the Salim Group, spanning industries from cement and banking to noodles — died here on Sunday, aged 97.
Yesterday, Indonesian Farmer Solidarity Association chairman Oesman Sapta was among those who visited the wake at Mount Vernon.
Indonesia’s Tourism Minister Mari Elka Pangestu paid her respects on Tuesday, and former president Megawati Sukarnoputri on Monday.
About 40 of Poi Ching School’s students, their teachers, and board members of the Singapore Futsing Association, of which Poi Ching is an affiliate, also came to pay their respects yesterday.
“Liem cared very deeply about education and put $1 million into Poi Ching’s campus in Tampines, which opened in 2003. He put in $500,000 for its construction and another $500,000 for a new classroom building in 2010,” said Lim Fang Hua, chairman of the management committee of Poi Ching and the Singapore Futsing Association.
He added that a classroom building will be named after Liem. The school hall is already named after the tycoon.
The school also teaches its pupils about Liem’s contributions to the school in civics and moral education classes.
By 5:45 p.m. yesterday, 122 wreaths had arrived, on top of almost 500 wreaths that had come in on Monday and Tuesday.
Those who sent wreaths included Brigadier-General Doni Monardo, deputy commanding general of the Indonesian special forces, Sembcorp Industries’ chief executive Tang Kin Fei and other members of its management, and Goran Larsson of Volvo Car Asia.
The burgeoning number of wreaths spilled out of the tentage and extended nearly to the side gate of the Mount Vernon site.
The send-off for Liem -— one of Indonesia’s richest men — has been lavish, with fully air-conditioned tentage the size of a football field. Valet services were also available.
There were around 40 tables with waiters. The catering included dishes such as grilled salmon, sweet and sour prawns and lemon tartlets for brunch. Breaded oyster, silver cod and cheesecake were whipped up for dinner.
Kelvin Tan, director of banquet operations at Mandarin Orchard Singapore, which provided catering for the event, said about 1,000 people were served each day.
Mandarin Orchard is part of Meritus Hotels and Resorts, which is owned by Indonesian businessman Stephen Riady’s Overseas Union Enterprise.
Liem will be buried at Choa Chu Kang cemetery on Monday.
Reprinted courtesy of Straits Times