Ex-Singapore President SR Nathan dies, aged 92

Members of the public turns up at the Istana to pay their respects to the nation's sixth president.

Singapore's longest-serving president S R Nathan died peacefully at Singapore General Hospital on Monday evening, three weeks after suffering a stroke.

The Prime Minister's Office (PMO) said in a statement on Monday night: "The Prime Minister and his Cabinet colleagues are sad to learn of the passing of S R Nathan and would like to convey their condolences to his family."

The 92-year-old president was admitted to the hospital on July 31 after he suffered a stroke. The doctors said he was in critical condition but he finally passed away at 9.48 pm on Monday.

The PMO said a state funeral service will be held for the former president on Friday from 4 pm at the University Cultural Centre in NUS.

According to the statement, Nathan's body will lie in state at the Parliament House from 10 am on Thursday to 12 pm on Friday. People who wish to pay their last respects to him can do so from 10 am to 8 pm on Thursday.

Members of the public turned up at the Istana early on Tuesday morning to pay their respects to the nation's sixth president. They thanked the former president for his many years of service to the country and expressed their condolences to his family.

President Tony Tan Keng Yam, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean and other Singapore leaders paid their tributes and offered condolences to Nathan's family in their Facebook posts.

"Mary and I are deeply saddened by the passing of former President S R Nathan. Mr Nathan had an outstanding career in public service. He rose from humble beginnings to become the sixth and longest-serving President of Singapore," Dr. Tan posted on Facebook.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said in a separate Facebook post wrote that "Nathan's life is an inspiration to us all. His was a story of how a young boy strove to triumph over his circumstances and make a contribution to society. He held many public service posts, and occupied the highest office in the land."

"I have known Mr Nathan for 40 years, since I was a young officer in SAF. I remember him as a man guided by a deep sense of duty to the nation. He stepped up each time duty called. He was a true son of Singapore," Lee added.

Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean said Nathan was a "giant of our times". He said that together with his generation, helped secure the peace harmony and stability the country enjoys today.

"I've benefited personally from his advice and guidance on many occasions. Thank you Mr Nathan for a lifetime of service to Singapore," DPM Teo said in his Facebook post.

Nathan was the longest-serving president from a span of 1999 to 2011. He officially stepped down on Aug 31, 2011 and announced that he would not seek a third term in office. Nathan was succeeded by President Tony Tan Keng Yam.

Before serving as the head of the state, he held key positions in the civil service as well as in security, intelligence and foreign affairs.

Nathan was appointed as Singapore's High Commissioner to Malaysia in 1988 and later Singapore's Ambassador to the United States of America from 1990 to 1996.

He was also seen serving as Singapore's Ambassador-at-Large and later served as the pro-chancellor of the National University of Singapore.