Hear voices from the past at Founders' Memorial event

ST VIDEO: LIM YAOHUI
Retiree Maurice Peter Anthony, 78, taking a photograph of his friend Freddy Lim, 68, in front of the display on Mr Othman Wok at the showcase at Gardens by the Bay's Waterview Room yesterday.
Retiree Maurice Peter Anthony, 78, taking a photograph of his friend Freddy Lim, 68, in front of the display on Mr Othman Wok at the showcase at Gardens by the Bay's Waterview Room yesterday.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

The face of late prime minister Lee Kuan Yew looks down from the digital screen on a pillar in a room at the Remembering Our Founders: The Making Of A Memorial showcase in Gardens by the Bay.

Visitors will hear his familiar voice ring out as he talks about the founding values dear to him.

Other pillars of modern Singapore also line the room - Mr S. Rajaratnam, Mr Eddie Barker, Dr Goh Keng Swee and Mr Othman Wok - and visitors can learn more about their views as well as those of other Singaporeans in Finding A Common Voice.

It is one of seven exhibitions at the showcase, which opens to the public today.

Mr Jack Wong, 36, a system architect who was at the launch yesterday, said: "I really enjoyed Finding A Common Voice. Getting to hear different people talk about their aspirations for the country - it really shows that everybody's opinions are valued, and that the forefathers' treasured values will go on."

The showcase is the third and most elaborate event so far in a series of engagement sessions initiated by the Founders' Memorial Committee, in the quest for a suitable memorial to commemorate the values exemplified by Mr Lee and his team during Singapore's past five decades of nation-building.

Based on data collected in the first two phases, the showcase gives Singaporeans a clearer look at what the memorial might offer, in terms of physical form and visitor experience.

Visitors can take part in interactive exhibitions, such as Leave Your Mark, which allow them to indicate their aspirations and preferences for the memorial's physical features and programmes.

There is a touch of the poetic at The Making Of A Narrative, an inspiring piece that summarises the views of Singaporeans from the first two sessions.

In the first round of the engagement sessions, some 80 per cent of participants supported establishing the Founders' Memorial.

In the second, 72 per cent of participants chose Gardens by the Bay's Bay East Garden as the potential memorial site.

Common reasons cited by the participants for choosing Bay East Garden include the site being "visitor-friendly and accessible to all ages" while "supporting a more forward-looking narrative".

The showcase will be held at Gardens by the Bay's Waterview Room from today until April 30.

From mid-April to end-May, the showcase will be taken to the heartland. Admission is free.

At the showcase's launch yesterday, Mr Lee Tzu Yang, chairman of the 15-member Founders' Memorial Committee, said the showcase encapsulates Singaporeans' "voices and collective aspirations" through presenting the founding values that resonate most with the public.

Correction note: This story has been edited to clarify that visitors can hear Mr Lee Kuan Yew's voice through an external speaker, and that the views of the other founding fathers are displayed in text only. For the other Singaporeans featured in the exhibition, visitors can hear them speak through the earphones. We are sorry for the errors in our earlier story.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 14, 2017, with the headline 'Hear voices from the past at Founders' Memorial event'. Print Edition | Subscribe