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‘He was a good boy’: More than 100 people mourn SCDF officer at his wake

Mourners at wake say SCDF officer who died while firefighting was passionate about firefighting

The 30-year-old Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) firefighter who lost his life while on duty was mourned by more than 100 people on the first day of his wake.

Captain (CPT) Kenneth Tay Xue Qin, who was an only son, was described as helpful and passionate about firefighting.

Source: Kenneth Tay on Facebook

The wake was also attended by Law and Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam.

SCDF personnel & family seen at mortuary

At about 12 noon on Friday (17 May), SCDF personnel and more than seven members of CPT Tay’s family were seen at the mortuary, reported Lianhe Zaobao.

Associate Professor Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim, who is Minister of State for Home Affairs and National Development, arrived at 12.40pm, accompanied by SCDF Commissioner Eric Yap Wee Teck.

About 10 minutes later, the SCDF personnel and family members were seen at the side door while a hearse and white car entered.

The hearse carrying the body left at 1.05pm, with some sombre-looking family members looking tearful.

More than 100 present at wake of SCDF officer

At about 7pm, CPT Tay’s casket arrived at the wake, which is being held at Telok Blangah Crescent.

Source: 8world News on Facebook

There were already more than 100 people to receive him, including his parents, according to Zaobao.

Source: 8world News on Facebook

The grieving couple were surrounded by relatives and friends.


Some mourners couldn’t help but wipe away tears as they paid their respects.

Shanmugam visits wake of SCDF officer

At 7.30pm, Mr Shanmugam arrived and said his condolences to CPT Tay’s parents.

Staying for about half an hour, he also paid his respects to the body.

Source: 8world News on Facebook

While he didn’t speak to the media, he posted on Facebook that CPT Tay’s death was “very very saddening”.

He sent his deepest condolences to his family and added that the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) would assist them.

He was an only son

CPT Tay was an only son, according to The Straits Times (ST).

A neighbour named Madam Lim, a 70-year-old retiree, told ST that his mother is a home-based hairdresser whom she’d patronised for years.

He was a “good boy” who greeted her when he saw her in the lift, she said.

Source: Kenneth Tay on Facebook

However, when she bumped into his father in the lift on Thursday (16 May), the day CPT Tay passed, his eyes were bloodshot, “like he had been crying for hours”.

He then told her his only son had died, she added, saying:

His parents are in their 60s, and they just lost their only son. It’s so heartbreaking.

He was passionate about helping people

Friends and relatives told Zaobao that CPT Tay graduated from the National University of Singapore (NUS) Nursing School in 2017.

He then joined the SCDF in December of that year.

Associate Professor Lau, 50, who was his nursing professor, said he was helpful and often guided his juniors in their studies. He was also always humble and involved in community services.

After he graduated, he told her he wanted to become a firefighter and was passionate about the job as he wanted to help people.

Source: Kenneth Tay on Facebook

It was a “shock” to hear about his death, she said, adding that he was “so young”.

He will get ceremonial funeral

CPT Tay was fighting a fire on board a marine vessel anchored in Singapore waters on Thursday (16 May) when he was found lying at the bottom of a staircase.

He subsequently lost consciousness while being evacuated and en route to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

His wake is being held Block 21A Telok Blangah Crescent. He will be cremated at Bright Hill next Monday (20 May).

He will also be given a ceremonial funeral in his honour.

Also read: SCDF officer who died while firefighting was 30-year-old captain who excelled in fitness tests

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Featured image adapted from 8world News on Facebook and Facebook.

Jeremy Lee

Analog person making do with a digital world.

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