Lee Kuan Yew's 'battleship' telegram to go on display at National Museum

Lee Kuan Yew's 'battleship' telegram to go on display at National Museum

SINGAPORE- Personal items and new speeches delivered by the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew will be showcased at the In Memoriam: Lee Kuan Yew exhibition at the National Museum of Singapore from April 10 to May 24, 2015.

Among the personal items to be displayed are the telegram with the cryptic message 'ARRIVING TODAY BATTLESHIP', which Mr Lee had sent. While sorting through his father's things, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong came across an old telegram which his parents had kept all these years.

Dated September 26, 1958, Mr Lee had sent a telegram for the family while in Sibu, Sarawak. It simply read, "ARRIVING TODAY BATTLESHIP - LEEKUANYEW".

In a Facebook post on Mon (April 6), Prime Minister Lee related that Mr Lee had wanted to have 'steam boat' for dinner that evening, but used 'battleship' instead to save telegram word costs.

The telegram alongside other personal documents such as the Cambridge University Reporter (June 18, 1949) - the official journal of the University of Cambridge which listed Lee Kuan Yew and Kwa Geok Choo graduating together with first class honours after the Law final examination; a memorandum from the Director of Posts to the Secretary of the Postal and Telecommunications Uniformed Staff Union (Feb 11, 1952), as well as a Letter from John Laycock to Lee Kuan Yew (April 13, 1953) will be put on display at the memorial exhibition.

Besides the new items, visitors can also listen to archival recordings of significant speeches delivered by the late Mr Lee in Mandarin, Malay and Hokkien during his career.

Some of the featured recordings include the 1959 People's Action Party Victory Rally by Mr Lee after the party assumed majority of the seats from the nation's first Legislative Assembly General Election and Mr Lee Kuan Yew's 1982 National Day Rally speech.

In Memoriam: Lee Kuan Yew is open daily from 10am to 8pm (until 10pm on Fridays and Saturdays) at the Glass Atrium, Level 2, National Museum of Singapore until Sunday, May 24, 2015.

Admission to this exhibition is free for all visitors. The exhibition brochure is available in all four languages - English, Mandarin, Malay and Tamil - for visitors to take home. Visitors are advised that queues are expected on weekends and public holidays.

Since it opened on March 25, over 38,000 people have visited the exhibition. 

candicec@sph.com.sg

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