Tribute centres continue to be packed

Tribute centres continue to be packed

After two difficult days of mourning, Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong said he felt better yesterday.

Mr Goh said his "heart began to feel a bit lighter".

"The reason is quite simple. There is this inspiration in watching the way the country has come together. Knowing that Singaporeans felt so much for Mr Lee Kuan Yew, I felt a little easier in my heart. The heaviness became a little lighter," he said.

Mr Goh was speaking to reporters after visiting a tribute centre at Kembangan Community Club, where hundreds of people turned up to pay their last respects to Mr Lee, who died on Monday morning.

For Madam Cheng Swan Puak, 86, who turned up at the tribute site at Yishun, it was not just to pay her last respects to the leader of the country but the friendly man who was a neighbour first.

Back in the 1950s, Madam Cheng stayed at her parents' home along Oxley Road next to the former Prime Minister's home.

"The outside of his house was always surrounded by security officers," said Madam Cheng.

"Although we rarely saw him, he always greeted us when we passed by the house."

Mr Lee's home was "very sparse, with no television, air- conditioning, or luxuries of any kind," she said.

At Hong Lim Park, the Malay/Muslim community also came together on Thursday to honour Mr Lee.

Yayasan Mendaki was joined by other Malay/Muslim organisations, such as the Singapore Muslim Women's Association or PPIS, and Singapore Kadayanallur Muslim League, in paying tribute.

Ms Rahayu Mohamad, president of PPIS, read a poem titled A Great Man in tribute of Mr Lee, which described his dedication to building Singapore.

She said Mr Lee's firmness educated Singaporeans to be pragmatic, to focus on development, which is what she thinks the younger generation has to continue to learn to ensure stability and progress.

A total of 10 community sites will be opened for 24 hours.

samgohwy@sph.com.sg

isaacneo@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on March 27, 2015.
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