Remembering Lee Kuan Yew

PM Lee presented orchid named after Mr Lee Kuan Yew at private wake

SINGAPORE - Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong was presented a specimen of the Aranda Lee Kuan Yew, an orchid named after Singapore's founding prime minister, who died on Monday at the age of 91.

PM Lee accepted the hybrid flower, which produces flower sprays of up to 10 flowers each, on Tuesday.

Its petals are a bright golden yellow with a green tint and a tinge of white at the base.

The hybrid is the result of a cross between a native orchid, the arachnis hookeriana, and another orchid from Hawaii - from the same line which yielded the Vanda Kwa Geok Choo, the hybrid named after Mr Lee's late wife who died in 2010.

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"For some time, we have been looking out for a suitable orchid hybrid to name after Mr Lee. NParks officers who have staffed him on his many visits to the Singapore Botanic Gardens have a good sense of what he enjoyed and liked amongst the flora and fauna," said Minister for National Development Khaw Boon Wan in a blog post on Tuesday.

Noting that the Aranda Lee Kuan Yew has just flowered and matches the Vanda Kwa Geok Choo, Mr Khaw added: "The match is not only in terms of colour, form and stature, but both hybrids also share a few species in both their lineages."

NParks chief executive Kenneth Er and National Orchid Gardens nursery manager David Lim, who bred the flower, presented it to PM Lee on Tuesday.

The orchid can be seen by visitors to the wake in the main hall, where Mr Lee's casket lies.

Members of the public can view in it Parliament House when Mr Lee's body will lie in state there from Wednesday to Saturday.

As for the private wake, at least 2,500 visitors from local organisations are expected to attend on Tuesday, including delegations from statutory boards such as NParks, the Housing Board, the People's Association and JTC Corporation.

Also likely to arrive are groups representing government sovereign wealth fund GIC, of which PM Lee is chairman, and Temasek Holdings, whose chief executive is PM Lee's wife Ho Ching.

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