Remembering Lee Kuan Yew

The Straits Times tribute wall for Mr Lee Kuan Yew closes with over 7,000 entries

SINGAPORE - Over 7,000 tribute entries dedicated to the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore's founding Prime Minister, were sent in to The Straits Times' online tribute wall last week.

The tribute wall was set up on March 23, the day Mr Lee died. On the first day alone, more than 2,000 entries were received.

Most thanked Mr Lee for his many contributions to building the nation. Some, like the one sent in by Mr Ishwin Singh, also included stories of how their families immigrated to Singapore and benefitted from Mr Lee's leadership.

"My grandparents moved to Singapore seeking a better life from a war torn Punjab shortly after Partition. The Singapore you helped build allowed my family, Sikhs from the Punjab, to settle safely in a country with a majority Chinese population, earn their living selling lace on Arab Street," he wrote.

"This racial and religious harmony that you forged has not only enabled Singapore to thrive but will continue to give us strength and move us forward as one people and nation," he added.

Another reader, Mr Khoo Keng Meng, wrote: "You have laid the blueprint for economic prosperity, built a safe and green Singapore and paved the way for a vibrant multicultural society thriving on meritocracy."

One submission from Ms Valerie Ong read: "What's to say that hasn't already been said? So here's to you, Mr Lee, Singapore's Founding Father. Your legacy will live on in our lives, in our hearts, in our Singapore. Godspeed."

 

Eleven-year-old Sophia-Ines Klein, submitted a poem titled Singapore, My Home, dedicating it to Mr Lee. She wrote about Singapore's food, skyscrapers and how Mr Lee "set Singapore free". She also added that though she did not see Singapore when it started, she has experienced the fruits of Mr Lee's labour.

Poems such as these, as well as cards, drawings, flowers and other touching tributes, were also placed at other venues including the Istana, the 18 community tribute centres islandwide, Parliament House where Mr Lee was lying in state and at Singapore General Hospital, where Mr Lee had been warded since Feb 5 for severe pneumonia.

More than 1.2 million people visited the tribute centres in the past week. Another 450,000 waited in line for hours to pay tribute to Mr Lee at Parliament House. About 100,000 braved the rain and lined the streets to bid him a final farewell on the day of Mr Lee's funeral on March 29.

The Straits Times tribute wall closed on March 29, the end of the national week of mourning.

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