Remembering Mr Lee and his values

Remembering Mr Lee and his values
Workers setting up display panels with photographs and write-ups detailing Mr Lee's contributions to the nation, near Parliament House along the Singapore River. The panels will also be on display near the Istana and in Tanjong Pagar. The exhibition is among a host of events starting this weekend, to commemorate the first anniversary of Mr Lee's death.
PHOTO: The Straits Times

Long queues snaked around Parliament House and large crowds gathered outside the Istana and in Tanjong Pagar in March last year, as Singaporeans came together to bid Mr Lee Kuan Yew farewell.

From today, the three locations will be host to display panels, photographs and write-ups about the late founding Prime Minister, who died on March 23 last year, aged 91.

The exhibition is among a host of events starting this weekend, to commemorate the first anniversary of his death.

Visiting the sites yesterday, People's Association deputy chairman Chan Chun Sing said they were chosen for their special meaning to Mr Lee and Singaporeans alike.

It was outside Parliament House that hundreds of thousands queued for hours to pay their last respects to Mr Lee when his body was lying in state. And it was in the Istana that Mr Lee spent the bulk of his life working for Singapore, he said.

Tanjong Pagar was Mr Lee's "home base" and the constituency he represented for 60 years. "It's not a moment of grief. Instead, we see it as a moment of celebration for us to remember the values he has imparted to us, and to take these values and build upon them to take the country forward," said Mr Chan, who is Minister in the Prime Minister's Office and labour chief.

Individuals and community groups have planned about 100 events to mark the anniversary.

Said Mr Chan: "Mr Lee has touched the lives of many Singaporeans in many different ways and it's only right that Singaporeans from all walks of life remember him in their own special way."

At one remembrance event yesterday, organised by Muslim welfare organisation Jamiyah, several children referred to him as a "superhero" during a skit they performed.

He is like Ironman, because he once said "whoever governs Singapore must have that iron in him", said six-year-old Theodore Fun.

And he had bionic eyes because he saw 51 years ago that Singapore would be a successful, multiracial society, said Choo Shaoning, eight.

Jamiyah vice-president H.M. Saleem said Mr Lee was "the architect of policies that ensured freedom to practise and profess the preferred belief system and cultural individuality of our people". His view was shared by the Taoist Federation's Master Chung Kwang Tong, who was among the 150 people at Jamiyah's event.

Speaker of Parliament Halimah Yacob, who was the guest of honour, recalled how Mr Lee understood the needs of the Malay-Muslim community as Singapore urbanised and supported the setting up of the Mosque Building Fund in 1974.

She said it was Mr Lee's genuine concern for the community that led him to suggest setting up self-help group Mendaki to help tackle the problem of academic underachievement among some in the community. Its success prompted the Government to set up similar self-help groups for other communities.

"When Mr Lee passed on last year, the entire nation, including the Malay-Muslim community, went to Parliament House to pay their respects to the man who truly made a difference to the lives of people in Singapore," she said.

"It is up to us, the present generation, to pass on this legacy to our children and grandchildren so that they too can live and progress harmoniously in Singapore."

Some events


These display photographs and write-ups about Mr Lee Kuan Yew and his contributions.

Where: Duxton Plain Park, Parliament House and Istana Park

When: March 19 to 27


This chronicles Singapore's tumultuous early years.

Where: National Library Building

When: March 17 to 31


These are from the 21-gun salute fired during Mr Lee Kuan Yew's state funeral last year.

Where: Housing Board Gallery, Botanic Gardens

When: From March 18


This has a photo exhibition, performances and a display of Lego models by the People's Association.

Where: River Promenade area (outside Central Mall)

When: March 19, 11am


This showcases a pottery piece depicting Aranda Lee Kuan Yew and Vanda Kwa Geok Choo and also terrarium-making activities.

Where: Duxton Plain Park and Orchid Pavilion in Tanjong Pagar Plaza

When: March 19, 4.30pm to 9.30pm


This includes a mass brisk walking activity.

Where: Sembawang Park

When: March 20, 7.30am to 10.30am


This includes activities such as kayaking and zumba.

Where: Punggol Waterway Park

When: March 20, 7.30am to 10am

This article was first published on March 19, 2016.
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