Remembering Lee Kuan Yew

Free decals and black brooches: Singaporeans get creative in tribute to Mr Lee Kuan Yew

SINGAPORE - Singaporeans have come up with several ways to pay tribute and show respect to Mr Lee Kuan Yew.

Dynamics Mechanic, a garage in Kaki Bukit, started giving car decals free-of-charge on Tuesday. The decals depict an image that is, by now, familiar on social media - a black ribbon which frames Mr Lee's profile.

Mr Albert Emmanuel, 39, director of the garage, told The Straits Times that this was his way of paying tribute to Mr Lee. By Tuesday evening, he had given out 450 decals. There was a "non-stop" crowd, he said.

The garage will be offering the decals till Saturday, or for as long as it can handle the volume. He said that he and his staff took about five hours to make 150 decals, as there are details that have to be cut out manually.

Mr Eugene Lau, an architect and planner, took one step further with the black ribbon icon. He turned it into a brooch by cutting out the image in acrylic. He will be making about 200 for his colleagues. There were offers to buy the brooches, but he dismissed them as "ridiculous".

When asked how he came up with the idea for the brooches, he said: "In Chinese culture, we wear a piece of cloth during the period of mourning. This is similar to that."

Other companies are also paying tribute in their own way.

A florist at Raffles Place, Artisan de Fleurs, has also been offering free white roses since Monday to anyone who is going to pay respects to Mr Lee. It will continue to do so till Friday.

Popular bakery chain BreadTalk put out a new bun to commemorate the life of Mr Lee, but took it off shelves just hours after.

Called "Lee bu kai ni", loosely translated as "Can't bear to leave you", playing on Mr Lee's surname in Mandarin, the bun received flak from netizens for being "disrespectful" and insensitive". The bun,filled with gula melaka-flavoured grated coconut and mixed with attap seed, was to be sold till Sunday.

"This kampung-inspired creation is a tribute to a visionary leader who gave his life to build a nation from a kampung to a successful Singapore today," according to the tags placed alongside the buns at BreadTalk bakeries.

BreadTalk said the projected $30,000 proceeds from the sale of the buns, which go for $2 each, will still be donated to the Community Chest.

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