Late Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu given state funeral

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GEORGE TOWN: The remains of former Penang chief minister Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu were cremated at the Batu Gantung Crematorium here at 1.15pm yesterday in a state funeral.

FINAL FAREWELL: Throng of mourners in the procession pay their last respects to the late former chief minister of Penang Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu at Lebuh Carnarvon leading to the cemetery. — Bernama photo

The funeral procession which included flag bearers and school marching bands had earlier left Dewan Seri Pinang here, where the lying-in-state ceremony was held, at 11.30am.

Besides family members and friends, Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon also took part in the procession, which made its way from Dewan Sri Pinang through Lebuh Light, Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling, Jalan Kampung Kolam, Lebuh Carnarvon, Jalan Magazine, Jalan Datuk Keramat, Jalan Ayer Itam, Jalan Scotland before reaching the cemetery.

Thousands of Penangites lined the route to bid final farewell to Dr Lim, who served as chief minister from 1969 to 1990 and was instrumental in making Penang a modern and industrialised state.

Prior to the cremation, a team from the Malaysian Armed Forces had handed over the Jalur Gemilang (national flag) to Dr Lim’s son Chien Aun as mark of tribute for the statesman.

This was followed by Chinese funeral rites.

Following his death on Wednesday, the government declared that he would be given a state funeral and his remains were kept at Dewan Sri Pinang for the people to pay their last respects.

Among the dignitaries who who paid their last respects yesterday were Penang Yang Dipertua Negeri Tun Abdul Rahman Abbas, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, several Cabinet ministers and political leaders from both sides of the divide.

Over 5,000 people including from various associations like the Penang Hokkien Association, Malaysian Buddhist Association as well as government representatives had gathered at the Dewan Sri Pinang compound as early as 9am.

Dr Lim, 91, died at home after being hospitalised for nearly a month at the Penang Hospital following a stroke.

He leaved behind wife Toh Puan Goh Sing Yeng, sons Chien Aun, Chien Cheng and daughters Pao Lin and Pao Yen.

Dr Lim had been president of MCA before leaving the party to form Gerakan of which he was the head from 1971.

Under his leadership, Gerakan joined the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition in 1972.

The highlights of his leadership as the second chief minister of Penang include the Bayan Lepas Free Trade Zone now known as Bayan Lepas Free Indusrtrial Zone, also dubbed as Malaysia’s silicon valley, the Komtar building, which is a landmark here and the iconic Penang Bridge.  — Bernama