Remembering Lee Kuan Yew

Retired Gurkhas honour Mr Lee Kuan Yew

About 150 retired Gurkhas and their family members paid homage to the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew in Kathmandu on Friday at a ceremony where they garlanded a portrait of Singapore's founding Prime Minister and observed a minute's silence in honour of him.

The ceremony was organised by the Singapore Gurkha Pensioners' Association, which noted Mr Lee's contributions to Singapore in a statement: "All of us - as members of the Gurkha Contingent serving in Singapore, as wives who in daily life exchanged chit-chat with Singaporeans and as school children who learnt of Lee Kuan Yew in school - know Lee Kuan Yew as the man who made Singapore the country it is today."

The Gurkhas are an elite force plucked from the foothills of Nepal to serve in foreign militaries. In Singapore, they belong to the police force's Gurkha Contingent, which was formed in 1949.

"Lee Kuan Yew's hard work was enjoyed not just by Singaporeans, but also by all of us who have lived in Singapore. He was like a father to us all," the statement added.

The Gurkhas also gave their condolences to Mr Lee's three children and "to the nation of Singapore".

The association's chairman Bhogendra Gurung, who retired as an inspector in 2005, said he would salute Mr Lee when he left or returned home by car. Having spent many years standing guard at the Oxley Road residence, Mr Gurung observed: "The light in his study room was always on until 2am or even 3am. He was a very hard-working man who worked late into the night for Singapore."

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