Like North Korea, the Singapore government activated civil servants and even school children to attend the state funeral of Singapore’s most well-paid and longest serving President. State media even featured a photo of primary school children in their uniform kowtowing to SR Nathan.
School children as young as kindergarten level who do not even know how to spell their own name are led by their pre-school teachers to pay SR Nathan respect. Students from the primary and secondary levels jumped on the opportunity to get a half-day off by attending the funeral, with most clearly in an excursion mood smiling at the funeral.
Civil servants especially those from the uniformed groups like the Singapore Police were peer pressured to attend as an expression of loyalty to the ruling party PAP. Government-linked organisations like S-League players were also present. Open expression of anti-PAP sentiments in these organisations are infamous for landing one into employment termination or career “black-marked”.
Almost everyone in the media’s own photos was wearing some sort of uniform and being led in some sort of group.
More embarrassingly, the “make-up crowd” couldn’t even fill the 2km long queue barrier set up and the crowd movement was described as “brisk” even by the state-controlled media.
Here are the photos: