Founders' Memorial site: 'Hear public's views first'

(From left) Ms Lee Huay Leng, Mr Lee Tzu Yang, Mr Sidek Saniff, Mr Timothy James De Souza and Mr Gopinath Pillai, who are among 15 committee members for the Founder's Memorial.
(From left) Ms Lee Huay Leng, Mr Lee Tzu Yang, Mr Sidek Saniff, Mr Timothy James De Souza and Mr Gopinath Pillai, who are among 15 committee members for the Founder's Memorial. PHOTO: MCCY

Singaporeans should be heard on the location of a memorial to honour the country's founding leaders, the Government said yesterday.

It wants the committee in charge of conceptualising the Founders' Memorial to get views from the public before making a final decision on the two possible sites identified.

The 15-member Founders' Memorial Committee said last week that it had recommended Fort Canning Park and Bay East Garden at Gardens by the Bay in a report submitted to the Government.

 
 

Of the two sites, identified in consultation with the Urban Redevelopment Authority, the committee had a "clear preference" for the Gardens by the Bay site, which sits on reclaimed land and is adjacent to the Marina Bay Golf Course.

The Government yesterday acknowledged the committee's recommendation that the Bay East Garden site can better convey how the values and principles of founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew and his team have shaped the Singapore story, and inspire future generations of Singaporeans.

It said in a statement issued by the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth: "As the Founders' Memorial will be an important landmark that will leave long-lasting impact, the Government would like the Committee to consult the public and allow Singaporeans to share their views on the two site options before making a final decision."

A straw poll of 50 Singaporeans by The Straits Times this week found that respondents were evenly divided on the two possible sites.

Yesterday, the Government also thanked the committee for its work in consulting Singaporeans, and welcomed the findings and recommendations made. "Singaporeans can look forward to more opportunities to be involved along the entire process - from the design to the construction of the Memorial."

The committee, formed last June, had conducted a survey and held public dialogues to seek the views of Singaporeans on the memorial.

The Government thanked those who took part in these sessions and called on Singaporeans to continue supporting the committee's work by sharing their views through the foundersmemorial.sg website.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 18, 2016, with the headline 'Founders' Memorial site: 'Hear public's views first''. Print Edition | Subscribe