I had a tickled time listening to the news just moments earlier.
Basically, the issue is on what is the amount that a person may spend on funeral expenses and which would be exempt from estate duty.
Mr Chiam See Tong was arguing that the limit of S$6,000 is too low and that the "dead should be allowed to lavish on themselves for the last time" and most of the time they are using their own money, drawing chuckles from Parliament.
The curious bit was that the reporter describe the Minister of State, Finance's response as having her own humour as well.
The minister said that they conducted a survey, and found that a no frills funeral, which basically has a simple casket and some essentials, cost S$1k to S$6k. an intermediate one is casket with embalming and some rites, cost from 6k to 7k. elaborate one is upwards of 7k, with elaborate casket with embalming and elaborate rites.
she then went on to say that to spend too much on funeral rites is "a dead loss".
so basically thats' her rebuttal of Mr Chiam's request that the amt be increased...and that basically to spend on funeral rites is a waste of money.
i guess the dead should pay duties to the govt even in death rather than spend on what could be the last act for themselves.