Singapore Founders' Memorial could be sited at Gardens by the Bay

Seventy-two per cent of people surveyed voted for the memorial to be placed in the East Garden of Gardens by the Bay.
Seventy-two per cent of people surveyed voted for the memorial to be placed in the East Garden of Gardens by the Bay. ST PHOTO: LIM YONG TECK

SINGAPORE - The Founders' Memorial - in honour of Singapore's founding leaders - could be sited at the Gardens by the Bay's Bay East Garden.

The location, which overlooks the republic's skyscrapers and the historic civic district, emerged as the venue of choice among 72 per cent of more than 700 people surveyed.

The other option was Fort Canning Park.

The two venues had been put forth by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA).

Those polled had been part of the second phase of engagement by the Founders' Memorial committee, which was formed in 2015.

Members of the public also gave input on what they would like to see at the memorial.

On the wishlist are indoor and outdoor spaces, lush greenery, water features and even the use of holograms and audioscapes to capture key moments in Singapore's history.

The committee's head, Esplanade chairman Lee Tzu Yang, said the Bay East Garden presents "a forward-looking narrative with an inspiring view of the city skyline that was built over the years".

Fort Canning Park was preferred by some for its connection with Singapore's pre-independence history. However, Bay East Garden has more space and potential for future development, noted the committee.

Fort Canning Park got 21 per cent of votes while the remaining 7 per cent had no preference for either site, or suggested other locations.

The committee noted that Fort Canning Park is half the size of Bay East Garden. It is also steep and not as easily accessible.

The committee's first phase of engagement found that most Singaporeans were supportive of the concept of a Founders' Memorial, which commemorated the values and ideals of founding prime minister Lee Kuan Yew and the team that led Singapore to independence in 1965.

The second phase of engagement, from last September to February this year, had participants take part in workshops focused on the desired visitor experience, physical features and programmes for the memorial.

The wider public will get to share their views at a showcase at Gardens by the Bay from March 14 to the end of April. A roving version will travel across the heartland from April to May. More details will be released closer to the date.

Mr Lee said the timeline for the construction of the memorial has yet to be determined, noting the committee's findings could be incorporated into URA's next masterplan.

How the memorial will be funded has also yet to be decided, said Mr Lee, who added it could be funded by the Government or the public.

The committee is set to present its findings to the Government by the middle of the year.