leekuanyew

Fly flag on Sunday in show of unity, say young grassroots leaders

Display the national flag as a symbol of unity this Sunday when the state funeral of Singapore's founding father Lee Kuan Yew takes place, a group of young grassroots leaders has suggested.

The group from East Coast GRC hopes that rules will be relaxed to allow Singaporeans to hang the national flag outside their homes on Sunday. Outside the National Day celebrations period from July 1 to Sept 30, restrictions on flying the flag apply.

Displaying the national flag en masse is a symbol of unity, a cause that Mr Lee dedicated his life to, said Mr Lim Swee Say, an MP for East Coast GRC.

"In his final journey, we want to tell Mr Lee, 'Rest in peace, we assure you that as Singaporeans we will build on your legacy in unity, in confidence, SG100 will be a Singapore better than today,'" said Mr Lim, as he introduced the idea mooted by about 50 grassroots volunteers.

One volunteer, finance executive Leong Yi Xing, 32, said: "Mr Lee has improved my parents' lives, my grandparents' lives."

He added: "But more than that, he rallied the nation. His greatest legacy is the seed that he planted in each of our hearts, this hope, confidence and positivity... so that we know we can fight together and build upon the foundation he left us.

"We should display the flag together to show unity. I am very sure that this is the kind of attitude that Mr Lee would have wanted us to have," he said.

Guidelines on the National Heritage Board's website note that outside the National Day celebrations period the flag must be flown from a flagpole. And if it is displayed or flown at night, it should be properly illuminated.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth said it is looking into the request.

Another grassroots leader behind the idea, academic Yusuf Ali, 36, said: "A lot of people say this is a time for grief, but at the same time grief and confidence are not mutually exclusive.

"You can express grief and, at the same time, express confidence for the future. Confidence that we have what it takes as a people to really punch above our weight and carry on the legacy that has been around for the last 50 years."

kashc@sph.com.sg