A Facebook user who goes by the name of Patrick Tan took to Facebook on Tuesday (17 November) to share that he spotted Leader of the Opposition (LO) and The Workers’ Party (WP) chief Pritam Singh at a late-night wake after a Meet-the-People session.
Mr Tan, who was also one of the attendees of the wake, said that he saw “one familiar face” at about 10.45 pm.
“Its rather late but he still took the effort to come over the wake after his meet the people session had ended. His residents are so fortunate to have him as MP,” Mr Tan wrote.
Earlier last month, Mr Singh paid his final respects to Mr Liow, a longstanding fan of the party, after hearing the news about the elderly man’s passing from the senior citizen’s grandson Terence.
Noting that Mr Liow was a dementia patient in the last 15 years of his life, the Aljunied GRC MP said: “Terence’s family was concerned whether grand-dad would be able to exercise his vote at GE2020 according to his wishes in view of his progressively worsening condition. So they drew a ballot slip and asked him to mark the box of his choice.”
“They did it again. And again. And all three times grand-dad made his intention known,” Mr Singh said of Mr Liow, who was 90 at the time of his passing. “It was an honour and a privilege for me to attend Mr Liow’s wake.”
Mr Singh was appointed as Singapore’s first LO earlier in July, a role which sees him taking on more duties and be accorded additional parliamentary privileges.
In the spirit of charity and goodwill, Mr Singh announced that he will allocate half of his salary increase as LO to assisting the low-income residents, the Party’s community programmes, as well as charitable causes.
Upon reading Mr Tan’s post, many netizens praised Mr Singh’s move, with some Aljunied GRC residents in the Eunos division saying that they feel “really fortunate and blessed” to have Mr Singh as their MP.
Mr Singh’s practice of visiting such wakes follows that of his predecessor Low Thia Khiang, who has previously served as WP chief and a Member of Parliament for Aljunied GRC and Hougang SMC.
Mr Low told The New Paper–as reported in March 2011–that he began visiting wakes regularly after coming across a wake at a void deck while walking around the estate soon after he was first elected in Hougang in 1991.
Upon paying respect to the departed, he learnt that the family was undergoing problems and was in need of advice.
Additionally, the deceased’s family members told Mr Low that the deceased had voted for him.
“From then on, I told myself, perhaps I should pay my respects to my constituents and to find out more about them,” Mr Low told TNP.
“These are things that sometimes happen suddenly, and some families may be caught by surprise and face problems, and would need some advice,” he added.