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Ex-Premier Su Tseng-chang to attend Lee Kuan Yew funeral

Former VP Lien to represent president

Ex-Premier Su Tseng-chang to attend Lee Kuan Yew funeral

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Ex-Premier Su Tseng-chang has been invited to attend the official funeral of Singapore’s former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, reports said Tuesday.
The news came as President Ma Ying-jeou was paying a short visit to the Southeast Asian city state to pay his respects to its former leader, who died early Monday at the age of 91.
Su had accepted an invitation handwritten by Lee’s son, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, on Monday, the Taiwanese politician’s aides were quoted as saying. He had already replied and accepted the invitation to attend the March 29 ceremonies, but details were still being worked out, they said.
Asked whether the Democratic Progressive Party, which Su used to chair, would send an official delegation before the funeral, spokesman Cheng Yun-peng said it respected Singapore’s arrangements and was not planning to do so for the time being.
Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng expressed his approval of the president’s unexpected trip to Singapore, describing it as “very important and necessary.” The voyage expressed the reality of Taiwan’s relations with the city state, he added.
Taiwan and Singapore do not have official diplomatic relations, but the Singaporean military has trained in Taiwan, and Lee Kuan Yew visited the country about 15 times.
Early reports said former Vice President Vincent Siew would lead the Taiwanese delegation to Lee’s state funeral, but later reports contradicted that, naming former Vice President Lien Chan as Ma’s representative at the official occasion.
However, Siew, Su and former Premier Hau Pei-tsun had also been invited, the Chinese-language United Evening News reported Tuesday. Siew would first attend the Boao Forum in China where he would meet Chinese leader Xi Jinping before traveling on to Singapore, reports said.
DPP lawmaker Chao Tien-lin criticized the “stealth” way in which Ma’s trip to Singapore took place, without even a news release. The president was taking for too low a profile, the opposition politician said.
In the past, visits by Taiwanese leaders to countries which are not official allies have often been canceled due to Chinese pressure once the news of the trips became public.

Updated : 2021-06-23 17:00 GMT+08:00