Grand and solemn send-off for IOI magnate Lee Shin Cheng

Family and friends of the late Tan Sri Lee Shin Cheng walk behind the hearse as it makes its way out of the house in Putrajaya, June 6, 2019. ― Picture by Hari Anggara
Family and friends of the late Tan Sri Lee Shin Cheng walk behind the hearse as it makes its way out of the house in Putrajaya, June 6, 2019. ― Picture by Hari Anggara

PUTRAJAYA, June 6 — Over 400 mourners and well-wishers turned out to give the late Tan Sri Lee Shin Cheng a final farewell and send-off.

Attendees began arriving for the late IOI Group executive chairman’s funeral as early as 9am, two hours before his cortège was due to depart for burial.

Prominent among them was China’s ambassador to Malaysia Bai Tian, who arrived at 9.20am. He was seen offering his condolences to Lee’s family members, staying for half an hour before departing at 9.50am.

By then, the marquee in the residence’s gardens at Diamond Hill was filled.

After a short round of prayers, Lee’s sons Datuk Lee Yeow Chor and Lee Yeow Seng, their spouses and his grandchildren were called forth by the funeral directors to perform the customary bows in front of his coffin.

They were followed by his daughters Lee Yoke Ling, Lee Yoke Har, Lee Yoke Hean, and Lee Yoke Hui, their spouses and offspring to do the same, after which Lee’s younger siblings and their spouses with his cousins also paid their final respects.

The relatives of his wife Puan Sri Hoong May Kuan also stepped forth afterwards to perform the triple bow.

Also present were students and teachers of Kuen Cheng High School in Kuala Lumpur, in which Lee had been chairman of its board of directors.

Its Wind Orchestra performed a solemn rendition of Teresa Teng’s The Moon Represents My Heart.

Towards the end, the senior management and personnel of IOI Group were also called forth to pay their final respects.

Following suit were representatives of the group’s domestic and international business partners, then members of the Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia.

Interestingly, officials from the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office were also present, perhaps arriving later on to avoid being in the same place as Bai Tian.

At 11.20am, the coffin was loaded onto the funeral hearse, accompanied by bells and soft chanting from three Buddhist nuns.

The procession began slowly, with the orchestra at the head playing a jazzy rendition of Yue Tian’s Underneath The Banyan Tree, followed by neatly-dressed Kuen Cheng students and one of Lee’s son-in-law bearing the funerary banner.

Then came the hearse, with the family members accompanying closely behind, their sobs and tears masked by the umbrellas they held as one of Lee’s older grandsons held on tightly to his spirit tablet.

Following behind them was a crowd on foot at least 300 strong, along with numerous cars behind them.

The procession then passed slowly around IOI Resort City in Putrajaya, and subsequently parts of Puchong, to mark the legacy of a man who spent half a century since the group’s inception in 1969 building it into what it is today.

Lee was eventually buried in the Nilai Memorial Park. He passed away on Saturday after a period of illness, two days shy of his 80th birthday. Lee leaves behind his wife, six children and 12 grandchildren.

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