As Mr Lee Kuan Yew made his final journey, people who lined the streets from the Padang through the Central Business District are living reflections of the Singapore he helped create
...a national spirit
The Singapore spirit, once expressed vocally in the Kallang Roar, is alive and well in Ms Amy Lee's family.
The multigenerational family expressed it not by raising their voices but by getting people to wave the flag.
Yesterday, the 16 family members, aged 11 to 82, distributed 10,000 flags outside Raffles City Shopping Centre.
Ms Lee, 43, especially wanted the children in her family to get involved.
"I wanted them to know that they should always come back to Singapore even if they study overseas.
"I wanted them to remember their roots," Ms Lee, who runs party shop Heartlink Trading told The New Paper .
The storms that hit the City Hall area at about 11am did not deter Ms Lee and her family, who started giving out the flags at 9am.
"We told the kids to take shelter and let the adults do it but they insisted that they could do it," she said.
TNP later learnt that this plan was hatched only last Saturday night, after Ms Lee's mother, Madam Tan Hwee Poon, came home from a community tribute centre.
She had wanted to do something more for Mr Lee, and the mother and daughter thought of the National Day flags on the party shop's inventory list.
The 68-year-old said: "I wanted Mr Lee to be sent off in a sea of red and white."
It took 2½ hours before all 10,000 flags were distributed. By then, Ms Lee and her family members were drenched, but happy.
As Mr Lee Kuan Yew made his final journey, people who lined the streets from Tanjong Pagar through Bukit Merah are living reflections of the Singapore he helped create ...homes of our own
For 60 years, Mr Lee Kuan Yew served as their MP.
Yesterday, residents of Tanjong Pagar GRC flocked to the streets and braved the rain to thank him for giving them a roof over their heads.
One of them was Mr Mok Ah Lai (right), 76, a part-time cleaner who has lived at Silat Road for more than 30 years.
"We used to live in attap houses in kampungs. Now, we own and live in sturdy HDB flats. From nothing, we now have everything," he said.
When Mr Lee became Prime Minister in 1959, his government embarked on a massive and urgent building programme.
Today, 90 per cent of HDB dwellers own their homes.
Mr Marcus Yeo (top), 36, a project manager who lives near the Pinnacle@Duxton, also camped by the road below his block with his wife Nicole Chew, 34, an accounts executive.
"He brought us forward with his leadership and vision, and united us as a country," he said.
As Mr Lee Kuan Yew made his final journey, people who lined the streets from Queensway through Commonwealth Avenue are living reflections of the Singapore he helped create
...a father figure
Cleaners Masliyati, 54, and Shanti Sankaran, 46, were overcome with grief when they heard of Mr Lee Kuan Yew's passing.
Madam Masliyati said: "We were crying so hard we could hardly work."
The women, who were at Commonwealth MRT station, respect Mr Lee so much "for everything he has done" that they call him their "big father".
Madam Shanti said: "We wanted to see 'father' one last time to thank him."
Retiree Lee Ah Ai, 75, showed her respect for Mr Lee by buying a black blouse for $20. She had worn a colourful top, but her church friends said she should wear black.
She had queued for hours to pay her respects at Parliament House and had also attended a community tribute.
For her, it was all worth it because "he took great care of the country".
This article was first published on March 30, 2015.
Get The New Paper for more stories.