Remembering Lee Kuan Yew

Padang 3am update: Queues to pay last respects to Lee Kuan Yew still very long

SINGAPORE - The queue for people to pay their final respects to the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew continued to stay tremendously long through the early hours of Saturday, with many Singaporeans waiting under the countless tents that have been set up on the Padang by the military.

Despite the long wait, the number of people wanting to join the queue continued to surge until it had to be temporarily closed at 11pm on Friday for the safety of those already in the waiting area on the Padang.

Even after hearing the news, many lingered around the City Hall area, hoping for the suspension to be lifted.

Meanwhile, a throng of volunteers worked tirelessly to distribute bread, biscuits, apples, and even sweet potato, while others handed out bottles of water and cans of herbal tea and isotonic drinks.

Some of the supplies came from companies and others were from ordinary Singaporeans stepping forward, such as a family that bought 525 apple pies from McDonald's for those waiting in line.

The queue remained orderly throughout the night, with applause breaking out sporadically for the volunteers and spirits remaining high as people chatted or tried to catch a nap while waiting.

At about 3am, a few drops of rainfall could be felt but it was not enough to get people to break out the umbrellas.

The state funeral for Mr Lee, who died on March 23 at the age of 91, will take place on Sunday.