Nationwide minute of silence for Mr Lee Kuan Yew on Sunday

Nationwide minute of silence for Mr Lee Kuan Yew on Sunday

SINGAPORE - The Government has released details of the state funeral for the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew, which will take place on Sunday afternoon.

The procession for the founding prime minister of Singapore will commence at 12.30pm. It will cover a distance of 15.4km on its way from Parliament House to the University Cultural Centre, and pass by landmarks such as the Padang, City Hall, and Singapore Conference Hall.

The procession will be organised by the Singapore Armed Forces' (SAF) Headquarters Singapore Artillery and led by chairman Colonel Lawrence Lim, Chief Artillery Officer.

The casket carrying the body of Mr Lee will be conveyed on a ceremonial artillery gun carriage connected to a limber, and towed by a ceremonial Land Rover. The gun carriage consists of a 25-pounder howitzer on which will be mounted a tempered glass case in which the casket will rest. 48 personnel from the SAF and SPF in ceremonial unimogs (military trucks) will form the escorts for the gun carriage.

The cortege will be led by four Guard-of-Honour contingents from the SAF and Singapore Police Force (SPF).

Students and military personnel will line the streets along Parliament Place, St Andrew's Road, Stamford Road, and Esplanade Drive to bid farewell to Mr Lee.

There will be a 21-gun salute fired by four ceremonial 25-pounder guns as the procession journeys around the Padang. This honour is usually reserved only for sitting heads of state.

When the procession passes City Hall, the Republic of Singapore Air Force's Black Knights will be flying a missing man formation, where one aircraft will leave the four-aircraft flying formation as an aerial salute to honour the Mr Lee.

The missing man formation is a tradition that dates back to World War I, and is used as a solemn aerial salute to honour deceased dignitaries or military aircrew.

Two Fearless-class patrol vessels, RSS Dauntless and RSS Resilience, from the Republic of Singapore Navy will also be conducting a ceremonial sailpast in the waters off the Marina Barrage, set against the backdrop of the city skyline, in recognition of Mr Lee's contributions to Singapore's nation-building.

At the UCC, where the funeral service for Mr Lee will be held from 2pm to 5.15pm, the gun carriage will be received at the main foyer by a Line of Honour (LOH), comprising 48 personnel from the SAF Military Police Command and led by Lieutenant-Colonel Mark Tan, Head, Plans Branch at Headquarters 2PDF.

The LOH will invert their weapons and bow their heads as a mark of respect as the gun garriage passes them. This "Resting on Arms Reversed" signifies the highest form of respect the SAF can pay to the deceased.

The Coffin Bearer Party will then carry the coffin into the UCC, slow-marching to the tune of "Dead March from Saul" performed by the SAF Military Band. The Coffin Bearer Party, commanded by Brigadier-General Ong Tze-Ch'in, Commander, 3rd Division, will comprise eight senior officers from the SAF and SPF.

The National Flag will be draped over the casket, symbolising the country's recognition of his singular contributions to the country.

The casket will enter the UCC Hall at a slow pace, accompanied to the tune of J. S. Bach's "Air" from Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D Major, performed by the Singapore Symphony Orchestra. The casket will then be placed on a bier for the rest of the Funeral Service.

The master of ceremony for the funeral service will be Mr Peter Ong, head of the civil service.

Ten eulogies will be presented in the following order by: Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, President Dr Tony Tan Keng Yam, Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong, Former Cabinet Minister Ong Pang Boon, former cabinet minister S. Dhanabalan, former Senior Minister of State Sidek Bin Saniff, trade unionist G. Muthukumarasamy, Tanjong Pagar community leader Leong Chun Loong, former journalist Cassandra Chew, and Mr Lee's second son Lee Hsien Yang.

Two wreaths will then be laid by PM Lee and President Tan.

After which, a lone bugler from the SAF Military Band will sound the Last Post.

Traditionally, the Last Post marks the end of the day's labour and the onset of the night's rest. In the context of a funeral, it represents a final salute to the deceased.

At about 4pm, the Singapore Civil Defence Force will sound a 15-second siren over the nationwide public warning system to signal the start and end of a minute of silence to honour Mr Lee.

This will be followed by a recitation of the national pledge and singing of the national anthem. Singaporeans across the island are encouraged to take part.

Eight pall bearers representing Tanjong Pagar, where Mr Lee had been MP since 1965, will send the casket off from the UCC to Mandai Crematorium.

The casket will be received by another group of eight pall bearers, representing the medical staff who looked after Mr Lee in his final years and the security officers who protected him over 50 years.

The cremation service will be private.

huizhen@sph.com.sg

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