Remembering Lee Kuan Yew

Earth Hour activities and other events postponed or cancelled out of respect for Mr Lee Kuan Yew

SINGAPORE - Activities scheduled as part of this year's Earth Hour have been scaled down or postponed as a mark of respect to Singapore's founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, who died on Monday morning at the age of 91.

World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Singapore chief executive Elaine Tan said on Monday that the organisation will be cancelling the Earth Hour lights-off event at Ion Orchard on Saturday as a mark of respect to Mr Lee.

There will not be any official countdown ceremony or fringe activities as part of the global initiative, which Singapore has participated in since 2009. Earth Hour, an annual movement organised by WWF to encourage people to turn off their lights, falls on Saturday this year. That is the eve of the last day of the seven-day national mourning period, when the state funeral for Mr Lee will be held.

Instead, WWF Singapore mark the day with a smaller event, by forming a 60+ Earth Hour logo with LED candles outside Ion Orchard at 8.30pm on Saturday.

Ms Tan added that individuals and organisations can still observe Earth Hour by switching off their lights from 8.30pm to 9.30pm.

She noted that Mr Lee was from the start a champion of the environment.

"It was his vision that led to Singapore achieving its status as a true cty in a garden," she said. " From our nation's reservoirs, to our lush parks, nature reserves and to the trees that line our roads, every day we are reminded of Mr Lee's lasting legacy."

The Climate Change Trail created by the organisation as part of the movement will still be open till this Saturday. The trail outside Ion Orchard and Wisma Atria features booths highlighting three extreme climate scenarios.

Earth Hour highlights climate change and encourages people to switch off their lights for an hour on the last Saturday evening of March each year. It began as a lights-off event in Sydney, Australia in 2007.

Since then, Earth Hour has grown to include more than 162 countries and territories worldwide. Singapore has been the headquarters for the global movement since 2012.

Several Earth Hour events organised by malls and organisations have also been cancelled.

City Square Mall in Kitchener Road has cancelled activities originally scheduled for Earth Hour on Saturday. These include an exhibition, interactive games to educate the public on conservation, and an outdoor screening of computer-animated comedy film The Croods.

However, the mall will still switch off its facade lights and non-essential lighting from 8.30pm to 9.30pm.

West Coast Park Grassroots Organisations and North West Community Development Council have also cancelled their Earth Hour activities.

Out of respect for Mr Lee, several events around the island have been postponed.

A home-cooked food carnival, organised by movement #SgEatWithUs to get home chefs to share home-cooked meals and the stories behind their dishes, was originally scheduled for Sunday at the National Library Board Building. It will be rescheduled for June 14.

The 50plus Expo, which was to take place from Friday till Sunday, will be pushed back to a later date. At the event, organised by the Council for Third Age, seniors aged 50 and above can enjoy stage performances and activities as well as attend forum talks and hands-on workshops on active ageing.

For the same reason, the last of this year's satellite Chingay parade has been called off, and Travel Revolution 2015, a new travel fair scheduled for this weekend, has been postponed. Non-ticketed performances at the Esplanade are cancelled, but ticketed performances will continue as scheduled until further notice.

calyang@sph.com.sg