Sirens will sound for nation to observe a minute's silence

Sirens will sound for nation to observe a minute's silence

SINGAPORE - Singaporeans are expected to line the streets in large numbers tomorrow afternoon as the country bids a solemn final farewell to its founding Prime Minister after a week of mourning.

Sirens will also sound nationwide at about 4pm to signal the start and end of a minute of silence for Mr Lee Kuan Yew, who died on Monday at age 91.

The 15.4km-long state funeral procession route will pass by several historic, as well as more recent, defining landmarks of the country Mr Lee had shaped in his career.

These include the NTUC Centre and Trade Union House, which reflect Mr Lee's beginnings as a lawyer defending workers, the Port of Singapore and his Tanjong Pagar constituency, as well as Bukit Merah, Queenstown and Commonwealth housing estates, the State Funeral Organising Committee said.

A rehearsal for the funeral procession was also held early yesterday morning.

The casket bearing Mr Lee will be lifted from its catafalque at Parliament House, where his body has been lying in state since Wednesday, by eight officers from the army, air force, navy and the police shortly before 12.30pm.

They will place the casket on a gun carriage that consists of a 25-pounder howitzer gun on which a tempered glass case is mounted, in which the casket will rest. The carriage will be driven by a ceremonial Land Rover.

As it leaves the Parliament porch, eight former and serving MPs will be in this group of pallbearers to send him off, including NTUC's first chairman, Mr Mahmud Awang, former Government Whip Chan Chee Seng and former opposition MP Chiam See Tong.

Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen, Health Minister Gan Kim Yong, Senior Minister of State for Finance and Transport Josephine Teo, Minister of State for National Development and Defence Maliki Osman and Nominated MP K. Karthikeyan will also be pallbearers.

The cortege will be led by four guard-of-honour contingents from the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) and the Singapore Police Force (SPF). The SAF Military Band will play a funeral march.

As the gun carriage leaves the Parliament driveway, some 48 men from the SAF and SPF in ceremonial military trucks will escort it. The procession will then turn into Parliament Place as the first round of a 21-gun salute is fired from four ceremonial howitzers on the Padang.

The vehicle will make its way to St Andrew's Road and past City Hall, from whose steps Mr Lee once spoke on many a historic occasion.

As the procession passes City Hall, the Republic of Singapore Air Force's Black Knights will fly a Missing Man Formation - with one aircraft leaving the group - as an aerial salute for Mr Lee.

Two Navy vessels will do a sailpast in the waters off Marina Barrage.

About 1,700 students from various secondary schools and junior colleges will line the procession route.

The 21st volley will be fired as the procession travels out of sight of the Padang and heads to the University Cultural Centre (UCC) for the funeral service.

The procession will travel at around 25kmh, and take about 37 minutes to cover the route. It is expected to reach UCC by 1.45pm, where the casket will be carried in a slow march to the tune of Dead March From Saul, performed by the SAF Military Band.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and family members will follow the procession into the UCC Hall, where the casket will be placed on a bier for the service.

At the end of the service, a lone bugler from the SAF band will sound the Last Post, and the Singapore Civil Defence Force Public Warning System siren will sound nationwide for 15 seconds to rally everyone in Singapore to observe a minute of silence.

The Rouse, a symbolic callback to duty, will then be sounded, and all citizens are encouraged to join in the recitation of the Pledge and the National Anthem.

The funeral procession will then make its final journey to Mandai Crematorium for a private cremation service.

zakirh@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on March 28, 2015.
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