Roland Tay

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Roland Tay
Roland Tay.png
Roland Tay
Tay Hai Choon

Years active1970 - Present,

Roland Tay (Chinese: 郑海船; pinyin: Zhèng Hǎichuán; born 1947) is an undertaker in Singapore. He is known for helping the poor and families of murder victims by providing pro-bono funeral arrangements.[1] Memorial services conducted by Tay include Huang Na, Liu Hong Mei, and Ah Meng, a Singapore's tourism icon.

Early life[edit]

Born in 1947 as the fourth of 10 children to a hawker in a coffee shop along Lavender Street,[2] Tay began his working life as a coffee boy at his family's coffee shop. He helped the family's coffee shop business by serving coffee and tea to customers in Singapore Casket and learned about the funeral trade.[3]

When his father died, Tay converted the coffee shop into Casket Palace, which was subsequently bought over by Singapore Casket.[4]


In the subsequent years, Tay started a few funeral companies including Tong Aik Undertaker and Direct Funeral Services.

Tong Aik Undertaker is in charge of operating the Singapore Police Force's police hearse and also operates as Direct Funeral Services[5] since 2000.

In 2004, Tay with Direct Funeral Services conducted the pro-bono funeral of Huang Na, an eight-year-old girl who was murdered brutally in Pasir Panjang, Singapore.[6] This was followed by another pro-bono funeral in 2005 of 22-year-old Chinese national Liu Hong Mei who was murdered and chopped into seven parts before being dumped in the Kallang River.[7] The process of sewing the body parts back together took Roland Tay and his embalmers 7 hours.[8] He also oversaw the funeral of Li Hong Yan a 24-year-old village girl from Heilongjiang who drowned at Sentosa.[9]

Tay reportedly collected around three hundred identity cards of deceased whom were without family and whom he conducted pro-bono funerals services.[4][10]

One of Tay's more memorable cases is the pro-bono funeral he provided for the primate tourism icon Ah Meng of Singapore.[11]

In 2013, Tay brought his daughter Jenny Tay into the business who subsequently helped him rebrand the undertaking firm[12] after quitting her job at a marketing firm.

Personal life[edit]

In 2013, Tay and his wife, Sally Ho, filed and finalized their divorce in June. According to the court papers, the cumulated properties were estimated to be a total of about $20 million.[13]

Notable pro bono cases[edit]

Date Case Details
9 Nov 2004 Huang Na 9 year old girl brutally murdered
12 July 2005 Liu Hong Mei Kallang Body Parts Murder[1]
31 Oct 2005 Maung Saw Oo Myanmar national who hanged himself when faced with deportation[14]
3 Dec 2005 Nguyen Tuong Van Australian Teen Hanged for Drug trafficking
27 Mar 2006 Pham Thi Truc Linc Vietnamese Hostess who died climbing out of Toapayoh Flat[15]
Oct 2006 Tan Jee Suan Man who ran into MRT[16]
27 May 2007 Yuan Fu Di Chinese National who died from hit and run[16]
26 Oct 2007 Pan Hui Marsiling Murder of 15 Year old Girl[17]
16 November 2007 Siu Chun Tao Construction Worker who fell to his death[18]
10 February 2008 Ah Meng Death of Singapore tourism mascot, Ah Meng[11]
18 September 2008 Yang Jie A 36-year-old peidu mama and one of the three deceased victims of the Yishun murders case. Her daughter, then 15 years old, survived the murders. The killer, Wang Zhijian, was sentenced to death in 2012 for the murder of Yang Jie and the other two victims.[19][20]
1 July 2009 Huang Rui Jing Unemployed Man has no money to mourn for sister[21]
24 March 2010 Li Hong Yan Karaoke hostess from China drowned at Sentosa[22]
13 May 2011 Alamin Bangladeshi worker who died while trapped in a container[23]
1 Feb 2015 Ken Ong Murdered his wife Karen Koh before turning the same knife on himself at their Yuan Ching Road home[24]
28 January 2017 Choong Pei Shan and her daughter Teo Zi Ning Victims of the 2017 Woodlands double murders. Choong's husband Teo Ghim Heng was sentenced to death for murdering both of them, as well as killing his unborn son.[25][26]


  1. ^ a b Chai, Hung Yin (4 September 2012). "He stitched murder victim's body back into one piece". Singapore Press Holdings. The New Paper. Archived from the original on 4 January 2015. Retrieved 27 December 2014.
  2. ^ Lim, Wen Jian (25 April 2011). "Remember The Date". The Straits Times.
  3. ^ "Life Story 2 Episode 8". XinMsn. Archived from the original on December 26, 2014. Retrieved 16 December 2014.
  4. ^ a b Ong, Janine. "Collecting the Pink Card: Roland Tay's Charitable Funeral Services". Archived from the original on 26 June 2018. Retrieved 20 February 2016.
  5. ^ "About". Tong Aik Undertaker 郑海船 96379909. Archived from the original on 12 March 2016. Retrieved 17 February 2016.
  6. ^ Nadarajan, Ben (9 November 2005). "Thousands Bid tearful farewell to Huang Na". Singapore Press Holdings. The Straits Times.
  7. ^ "Kallang body parts murder". Archived from the original on 27 December 2014. Retrieved 27 December 2014.
  8. ^ T., Sua (12 July 2005). "Final Send Off". Singapore Press Holdings. NewspaperSG.
  9. ^ "The naked body & story behind Adrian Chua's Sentosa Cove pool in S'pore". 23 Jul 2010. Archived from the original on 24 February 2016. Retrieved 17 February 2016.
  10. ^ Yang, JiaJun (8 February 2009). "100 Identity Cards, 100 Sad Stories". Singapore Press Holdings. Lian He Wanbao 联合晚报.
  11. ^ a b Kong, Simin (10 February 2008). "4000 people give Ah Meng a final farewell". Singapore Press Holdings. Xinmin Daily News 新明日报.
  12. ^ "Wrist Taker". The Straits Times. 21 September 2017. Archived from the original on 22 September 2017. Retrieved 22 September 2017.
  13. ^ Tan, Judith. "Big money, big fight". The New Paper. Archived from the original on 3 January 2015. Retrieved 17 February 2016.
  14. ^ Low, Ling Ching (31 October 2005). "He Gets Tragic Death Wish". Singapore Press Holdings. The New Paper.
  15. ^ Lim, Joyce (27 May 2007). "Funerals For Free". Singapore Press Holdings.
  16. ^ a b Lim, Joyce (27 May 2007). "To Her, He Is For Real". Singapore Press Holdings. The Newpaper.
  17. ^ Ang, Yan Ming (26 Oct 2007). "Buried In White". Singapore Press Holdings. Lian He Wan Bao 联合晚报.
  18. ^ Tan, Kaisong (16 November 2007). "Bloodied Clothes were changed, His death was treated as a car accident". Singapore Press Holdings. Lian He Wan Bao 联合晚报.
  19. ^ "I'll stay in S'pore to fulfil Mum's last wishes". AsiaOne. 3 October 2008. Retrieved 25 April 2021.
  20. ^ "Guilty As Charged: Man murders lover, her daughter and flatmate after quarrel over money for crab". The Straits Times. 18 May 2016. Retrieved 25 April 2021.
  21. ^ Tan, Kaisong (1 July 2009). "Unemployed Man has no money to mourn for sister". Singapore Press Holdings. Lian He Wan Bao 联合晚报.
  22. ^ "Sentosa Cove drowning ruled an accident". my paper. 29 Dec 2010. Archived from the original on 14 April 2016. Retrieved 17 February 2016.
  23. ^ Seetor, Benjamin (13 May 2011). "Just Eight Strangers At His Funeral". Singapore Press Holdings. The New Paper.
  24. ^ "Man at son's cremation despite differences". My Paper. 2 Feb 2015. Archived from the original on 5 February 2015. Retrieved 2 February 2015.
  25. ^ "Woodlands deaths: Neighbours thought family was on holiday". Today. 31 January 2017. Retrieved 21 September 2021.
  26. ^ "Woodlands double murder: Man gets death penalty for killing pregnant wife, 4-year-old daughter". Today. 12 November 2020. Retrieved 21 September 2021.