Remembering Lee Kuan Yew

Crowds visit National Museum exhibition on Mr Lee Kuan Yew

SINGAPORE - People have been streaming in to the National Museum of Singapore to retrace Mr Lee Kuan Yew's life at a new exhibition dedicated to him.

Launched on Wednesday, the showcase is called In Memoriam: Lee Kuan Yew.

It examines Mr Lee's formative years as a law student at Britain's Cambridge University and his involvement in the anti-colonial struggle. It then goes on to cover his political career - from being a key figure in forming the People's Action Party and later, as Singapore's Prime Minister, to his years as Senior Minister and Minister Mentor.

Undergraduate Kenneth Yap, 23, who went there on Wednesday afternoon, said he appreciated the efforts to put together a multi-media display. For instance, visitors will get to experience Mr Lee's rousing and spirited speeches booming through speakers at the level 2 showcase, and listen to how his tone and pacing evolved over the different phases of his political career.

A rosewood rostrum which he spoke from during National Day Rally messages at the National Theatre in the 1970s is another highlight at the exhibition, which will run daily from 10am to 8pm till April 26.

Said Mr Yap: "It's a complete experience with words to read, his voice to hear, and pictures to view."

Curator Daniel Tham explained: "We tried to recreate the emotions and experience of listening to his speeches... He was such a powerful speaker that I imagine everyone in the audience listened with rapt attention."

Also on show are less familiar shots of Mr Lee. They include a behind-the-scenes photo of him arriving for a televised press conference to announce Singapore's separation from Malaysia on Aug 9, 1965.

There are also images showing a softer side, such as one of him squatting down, mingling with young children during his tour of Queenstown housing estate in May 1965.

Mrs Sarah Kwok, 71, who took her grandchildren, aged seven and eight, to the exhibition, said she got them to pen tributes in two languages to Mr Lee, in a nod to his emphasis on bilingualism.

"It's less crowded here and a good place to bring my grandchildren to remember and recall what their teachers have taught them on how Mr Lee shaped the country," she said.

Ms Selina Lee, 45, an assistant communications manager, said walking through the exhibition was an emotional experience.

"It brings back a lot of memories of what Mr Lee has done... He's a legend who has left behind a remarkable legacy," she said.

"The exhibition is one way to help us remember his contributions."

The museum's director, Ms Angelita Teo, said she hopes Singaporeans will drop by, and take the time to "remember and reflect" on Mr Lee's decades of contributions.

Parts of the exhibition will be transferred to the museum's history gallery when it reopens in September.