Culture, Community and Youth Ministry to support committee looking into Founding Fathers' memorial

SINGAPORE - Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Lawrence Wong has thrown his ministry's weight behind a committee that will examine ideas for a memorial to Singapore's founding fathers.

In a Facebook post on Wednesday, he said his ministry will provide secretariat support to Mr Lee Tzu Yang, who has been asked to head the committee that will gather views from the public, and conceptualise such a memorial.

Ms Yeoh Chee Yan, the ministry's Permanent Secretary, has been assigned to help Mr Lee in this task, and more information will be revealed once the committee is formed, added Mr Wong.

In his post, he also said that Mr Lee, who is chairman of the Esplanade, is "not only a respected corporate leader but also someone with aesthetic and cultural sensitivities".

In Parliament on Monday, PM Lee said that he had asked Mr Lee Tzu Yang to chair a committee to look into the suggestion...

Posted by Lawrence Wong on Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Besides his role at the Esplanade, Mr Lee had previously headed the Arts and Culture Strategic Review and also chaired the School of the Arts.

"He's an excellent person to oversee this process of gathering views from the public, and conceptualising a possible Founders' Memorial," said Mr Wong.

Mr Lee had said in a brief statement on Monday that he will "consult widely" in studying and recommending concepts to honour the founding fathers' legacy while inspiring present and future generations.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced on Monday that a committee would be set up, during a discussion in Parliament about how the country can honour Singapore's first Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew.

PM Lee said he had asked the Esplanade's Mr Lee to conceptualise a memorial that honours not just the late Mr Lee, but also his core team. They include Dr Goh Keng Swee, Mr S. Rajaratnam, Mr Othman Wok, Mr Hon Sui Sen and Mr Lim Kim San.

He said that the late Mr Lee was always conscious that he did not act alone, but was "first among equals" of a multiracial team that complemented one another and trusted one another implicitly.

Since Mr Lee's death on March 23 at the age of 91, Singaporeans have been suggesting ways to honour him, such as renaming by Changi Airport after him, or putting his image on the local currency.

yuenc@sph.com.sg