Remembering Lee Kuan Yew

Arts community mourns death of Mr Lee Kuan Yew

SINGAPORE- The arts community here on Monday mourned the death of Singapore's founding father Lee Kuan Yew, and gave their condolences to the Lee family.

Mr Ong Keng Sen, festival director of the Singapore International Festival of Arts 2015, said: "We are touched by the passing of Lee Kuan Yew, whose far-sighted vision, tenacity and courage in the face of often insurmountable challenges shaped an economically strong and politically stable Singapore."

Mr Ong also extended condolences on behalf of his team to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

"You have lost a father, father-in-law and grandfather - we, the people of Singapore have lost a leader who inspired us to stretch out and reach for the stars. Now we have to chart our own destinies," he said.

Writer Alvin Pang felt that a parent or a grandparent had died.

 

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He said: "I think, like it or not, he was a father figure, and the the relationship with fathers is always complicated."

He added that he felt like childhood had ended, that the only connection he had to those early times in his life had been lost. Mr Pang grew up when Mr Lee was the Prime Minister.

Chairman of the National Arts Council Chan Heng Chee said that even as all Singaporeans weigh the profound loss of Mr Lee's passing, the impact he has made on modern Singapore is enduring and will continue to inspire many.

She added though: "It will be especially painful and poignant that Mr Lee will not attend this year's National Day celebrations."

Ms Kathy Lai, chief executive of the Council, said: "His extraordinary commitment to building a nation and his sense of purpose have created a city-state renowned globally for its distinctive multi-ethnic fabric, its social harmony and safety, and its high standard of living - all of which have laid a strong foundation for the thriving arts and cultural scene today."

All National University of Singapore Arts Festival events between March 25 and March 29 have also been cancelled.

 

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jalmsab@sph.com.sg