Remembering Lee Kuan Yew

Eulogies for Mr Lee Kuan Yew on Sunday

SINGAPORE- Ten eulogies will be delivered at Mr Lee Kuan Yew's state funeral service on Sunday. Among those who will be speaking are Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, President Tony Tan Keng Yam, Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong and the late Mr Lee's second son Lee Hsien Yang.

Here are six other people who will be delivering eulogies at the service at the University Cultural Centre, which will take place from 2pm to 5.15pm.

Former Cabinet Minister Ong Pang Boon

Mr Ong, 86, was introduced to People's Action Party (PAP) leaders in 1955. He decided to join the party and started work as an election agent for Mr Lee Kuan Yew, who was contesting the Tanjong Pagar seat in the Legislative Assembly General Election held on April 2, 1955.

As an election agent, Mr Ong was heavily involved in election work. His duties included fielding telephone calls, attending meetings, applying for police permits and organising election workers during the campaign.

After the election, Mr Ong, who was born in Malaysia, moved to Kuala Lumpur to work. In 1956, Mr Lee wrote to Mr Ong and offered him a job as party organising secretary for the PAP. Mr Ong accepted the job offer despite a large pay cut, became the first full-time PAP employee and was put in charge of almost all aspects of administrative work, including membership registration, correspondence with members of the public as well as the party newsletter.

Mr Ong served in several capacities, including Minister for Home Affairs, Minister for Education and Minister for Environment. He was instrumental in the fight against crime and promoting the study of a mother tongue. He stepped down from Cabinet in 1984.

Former Cabinet Minister S. Dhanabalan

Mr S. Dhanabalan, 77, an MP from 1976 to 1996, held various ministerial portfolios between 1980 and 1992. He was chairman of Singapore investment company Temasek Holdings from 1996 to 2013. He began his career in the civil service as an assistant secretary at the Ministry of Finance. He helped to draft the proposal for the formation of the Economic Development Board (EDB), and was seconded to become its first industrial economist when it was established in 1961.

In 1976, he entered politics and served as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Kallang until 1991. While he was in Government, he served as Minister for Culture, Minister for Community Development and Minister for National Development.

He helped to shape housing and land use policies. During his tenure, the Housing Board (HDB) liberalised ownership rules, and handed over management duties to town councils.

In 1988, Mr Lee Kuan Yew identified Mr Dhanabalan as a possible candidate to succeed him as Prime Minister, but decided that Singaporeans were not ready for an Indian prime minister, a point which Mr Dhanabalan later said he agreed with.

In September 1992, he resigned from the Cabinet to pursue a career in the private sector, but returned to politics to take over as the Minister for Trade and Industry after Mr Lee Hsien Loong was diagnosed with cancer.

Former Senior Minister of State Sidek Saniff

Sidek Saniff was a PAP MP from 1976 to 2001, and a Minister of State and Senior Minister of State from 1991 to 2001.

In the lead-up to the 1976 General Election, he was approached to stand as a PAP candidate by then Minister of State Yaacob Mohamed and PAP MP Lawrence Sia. This was despite his vocal criticisms of the PAP Government, which he believed had not done enough to uplift the Malay community, especially in education and in ensuring that Malay students left school with a decent grasp of English.

He was involved in lobbying for the creation of Malay/Muslim self-help group Mendaki, and was also instrumental in communicating sensitive messages to the Malay community.

Trade unionist G. Muthukumarasamy

Mr Muthukumarasamy started out doing electrical maintenance, and while carrying out his work at the Istana in the 1970s, Mr Lee Kuan Yew, then the Prime Minister, advised him and his colleagues to upgrade.

So he continued studying, and became better educated. He is currently general secretary of the Amalgamated Union of Public Daily Rated Workers, and passes Mr Lee's advice on to others.

Tanjong Pagar community leader Leong Chun Loong

Mr Lee Kuan Yew, who was MP for Tanjong Pagar from 1955 to 2015, suggested in 1989 that a permanent record be made of the area's history. A committee of grassroots leaders was formed to look into the project and it roped in the National Archives and Oral History Department. Mr Leong was the chairman of this committee, as well as the Tanjong Pagar citizens' consultative committee. In 1991, Mr Leong also headed a committee that organised a tribute dinner to Mr Lee. It was was attended by 4,500 people.

Former journalist Cassandra Chew

Ms Cassandra Chew was a political journalist with The Straits Times from 2009 to 2011. She was part of a team that put together the book Lee Kuan Yew - A Life in Pictures. In 2014, she left The Straits Times and joined the civil service.

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