SINGAPORE - Artillery shell casings from the 21-gun salute fired during last year's State funeral procession of founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew will be given to individuals and organisations closely associated with him.
The Prime Minister's Office, in a statement on Thursday (March 17), said the 21 shell casings were collected after the funeral.
"The Government has decided to present the shell casings to the eulogists at the State funeral service, the organisers of the State funeral and institutions and organisations that have been closely associated with Mr Lee," said the statement.
The recipients include the Singapore Armed Forces, the Singapore Police Force, the People's Association, the Parliament, the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB), the Housing and Development Board (HDB), the National Parks Board, and PUB, Singapore's national water agency.
Individuals given the casing include Old Guard leader and former education minister Ong Pang Boon, and former senior minister of state for education and environment Sidek Saniff who delivered an eulogy at the funeral of Mr Lee.
The death of Mr Lee on March 23 last year was followed by a week-long period of national mourning.
The State funeral procession on March 29 was marked by a 21-gun salute fired at the Padang by four ceremonial 25-pounder howitzers from the Singapore Artillery's 21st Battalion.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, in a Facebook post on Thursday, wrote: "A year ago our nation came together to bid Mr Lee Kuan Yew a last farewell. The week of national mourning and the State Funeral that followed were an intense and emotional experience for us all."
He said he asked the SAF to collect the artillery shell casings from the 21-gun salute, and to present the casings to people, institutions and organisations that were closely linked to the late Mr Lee.
"My deep thanks to all of them for the roles they played in my father’s life and for their contributions to the nation," he wrote.
In a press release issued after the announcement, the CPIB said the shell casing it received will be on public display at its upcoming exhibition "Declassified - Corruption Matters", to be held from April 7 to May 22 at the Plaza @ National Library.
The public exhibition, which charts Singapore's anti-corruption journey and shares the CPIB officers’ experiences in their fight against corruption, will be launched by PM Lee on April 7.
"The late Mr Lee Kuan Yew knew that Singapore’s survival and success depended on keeping Singapore corruption-free and having a clean government imbued with the values of honesty and integrity," CPIB said.
"Recognising the CPIB’s instrumental role in keeping the system clean, the late Mr Lee backed the Bureau with the resources, the legislation and the independence to carry out its work without fear or favour."
HDB also announced that its casing will be showcased at the HDB Gallery located at the HDB Hub in Toa Payoh from Thursday.
HDB CEO Cheong Koon Hean said: “The late Mr Lee Kuan Yew is the key driver of public housing in Singapore. His vision of a home-owning society has given Singaporeans a tangible stake in the nation. Without his vision, Singaporeans today would not have a home they can call their own, upon which they can build their family and lives. Nor would HDB have the privilege to house almost an entire nation.
"We are deeply honoured to be a recipient of the artillery shell casing. It will always remind us of Mr Lee’s vision and spur us to build on his legacy, to give Singaporeans better homes and better lives."