Remembering Lee Kuan Yew - Thank you - The nation with you in your final journey - See u in heaven

Remembering Lee Kuan Yew - Thank you - The nation with you in your final journey - See u in heaven
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Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Mr Lee leaves Istana for the last time

Mr Lee leaves Istana for the last time

People line streets to watch as gun carriage takes casket to Parliament

The procession leaving Sri Temasek. -- PHOTOS: NEO XIAOBIN, MCI

The procession leaving Sri Temasek. -- PHOTOS: NEO XIAOBIN, MCI 


PM Lee and his wife, Ms Ho Ching, paying their respects before Mr Lee's casket left Sri Temasek. -- PHOTOS: NEO XIAOBIN, MCI

PM Lee and his wife, Ms Ho Ching, paying their respects before Mr Lee's casket left Sri Temasek. -- 

PHOTOS: NEO XIAOBIN, MCI 


Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong, President Tony Tan Keng Yam and his wife, Mrs Mary Tan, and staff bowing their heads as the procession stopped at the main Istana building. -- PHOTOS: NEO XIAOBIN, MCI

Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong, President Tony Tan Keng Yam and his wife, Mrs Mary Tan, and staff bowing their heads as the procession stopped at the main Istana building. -- PHOTOS: NEO XIAOBIN, 



Mr Lee's family members watching the procession as it crossed the Istana grounds. -- PHOTOS: NEO XIAOBIN, 


Pallbearers draping the Singapore flag over Mr Lee's casket (above), and placing it onto the gun carriage.  -- PHOTOS: MCI, NEO XIAOBIN

Pallbearers draping the Singapore flag over Mr Lee's casket (above), and placing it onto the gun carriage.  -- PHOTOS: MCI, NEO XIAOBIN 


Pallbearers draping the Singapore flag over Mr Lee's casket (above), and placing it onto the gun carriage.  -- PHOTOS: MCI, NEO XIAOBIN


Pallbearers draping the Singapore flag over Mr Lee's casket (above), and placing it onto the gun carriage.  -- PHOTOS: MCI, NEO XIAOBIN


Pallbearers draping the Singapore flag over Mr Lee's casket (above), and placing it onto the gun carriage.  -- PHOTOS: MCI, NEO XIAOBIN

Pallbearers draping the Singapore flag over Mr Lee's casket (above), and placing it onto the gun carriage.  -- PHOTOS: MCI, NEO XIAOBIN



Pallbearers draping the Singapore flag over Mr Lee's casket and placing it onto the gun carriage (above).  -- PHOTOS: MCI, NEO XIAOBIN 


Mr Lee's grandsons (far right) Yipeng and Huanwu carrying a portrait of their grandfather as they lead the foot procession. Behind them are Mr Lee Hsien Yang and PM Lee and their wives and other family members. -- PHOTOS: MCI, NEO XIAOBIN


Mr Lee's grandsons (far right) Yipeng and Huanwu carrying a portrait of their grandfather as they lead the foot procession. Behind them are Mr Lee Hsien Yang and PM Lee and their wives and other family members. -- PHOTOS: MCI, NEO XIAOBIN



OUTSIDE, thronging the roads, the public were waiting. But inside Sri Temasek on the grounds of the Istana, the family of Mr Lee Kuan Yew gathered after sunrise as the private wake for their pa-triarch drew to a close.

Just an hour later, the casket containing Mr Lee would leave the two-storey house for the journey to Parliament House and four days of lying in state.

But for now, in quiet moments away from the public eye, the extended families of Mr Lee and his late wife, Madam Kwa Geok Choo, paid their respects.

After them, Mr Lee's immediate family members stepped forward to say individual goodbyes, all dressed in white shirts and black trousers or long skirts.

The first was younger son Lee Hsien Yang, followed by his wife Lee Suet Fern, and their sons Shengwu, Huanwu and Shaowu.

Mr Lee's daughter Wei Ling, who had lived with her late parents in the family home in Oxley Road, went next.

Last of all came Mr Lee's elder son, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, his wife Ho Ching, and children Xiuqi, Yipeng, Hongyi and Haoyi.

Over Monday and Tuesday, they had received and hosted more than 5,200 visitors at the private wake held at the official residence of the Prime Minister in the Istana grounds. Mr Lee died early on Monday at the age of 91.

Too soon, 9am came - the hour when the gun carriage waiting in the driveway outside would carry Mr Lee away.

Inside, the Lee family watched solemnly as a team of white-jacketed pallbearers from the defence services and police draped the Singapore flag over the casket. As the officers - their headgear removed as a mark of respect - carried the casket onto the gun carriage, and the strains of Beethoven's Funeral March No. 1 filled the air, the family filed out of the hall and into the public eye.

Among the group of at least 20 people were grandsons Yipeng and Huanwu bearing a portrait of their grandfather, with Yipeng's left arm resting at times on his cousin's shoulder in solidarity.

The ceremonial procession on foot behind the carriage was led by PM Lee, the chief mourner.

Slowly, slowly, the family trailed the carriage to the beat of a military drum, as it descended the hill, for about 70m.

Mr Lee Hsien Yang and his wife Suet Fern walked hand-in-hand, their heads frequently bowed. Behind them, Mr Lee's grandchildren walked together, hands at their sides. Daughter Wei Ling was not in the procession as she was unwell.

Along the way, through the grounds of the Istana, they passed a military line of honour and representatives from Tanjong Pagar GRC, the constituency where the late Mr Lee was an MP, and the Teck Ghee ward in Ang Mo Kio GRC, where PM Lee is an MP.

The gun carriage then went past the main Istana building, where President Tony Tan Keng Yam and Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong and staff paid their respects, while a bagpiper from the Singapore Gurkha Contingent played Auld Lang Syne.

As the first part of the ceremonial procession ended, still within the grounds of the Istana, the Lee family proceeded separately by vehicle to Parliament House, where Mr Lee's casket will lie in state until 8pm on Saturday.

They were there to receive the casket when it arrived just before 10am, bearing silent witness as it was transferred from the gun carriage to its bier. As the pallbearers removed the national flag from Mr Lee's casket and marched off, the family was ushered forward.

PM Lee stood front and centre, his wife beside him. The grandsons placed Mr Lee's portrait on a pedestal before the casket.
Then, as one, the Lee family bowed once in front of the head of their family before departing.

The Straits Times / Top of The News           Published on Thursday, 26 Mar 2015

charyong@sph.com.sg

Where we are right now is nothing by chance, it has to have a team of great leaders to bring us to where we are, From a fishing village to a 1st world urban city nation. All Singaporean owe it to Mr Lee Kuan Yew and his team. Even though not all policies are likable by all, but we can see the results with our own eyes. Mr Lee had dedicated his entire life to the building of Singapore. Let's do our best to pay tribute to our founding father Mr Lee Kuan Yew. Let's focus on reading all the positive news rather than negative news. Let's do our best to salute our great leader. He deserve our respect.

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BACKGROUND STORY

HELD SPELLBOUND

"Mr Lee Kuan Yew's body is now lying in state in Parliament House. I recall vividly his many speeches in Parliament.

The most awesome was the one he made in February 1977 at the old Parliament House. I had just been elected an MP. He was speaking on the debate on the President's Address. He spoke for nearly four hours, from 3.45pm to 7.30pm. I sat spellbound in the back row. No one moved.

He ended his speech with a rider on psephology. He asked why Marine Parade, as a new HDB estate with more five-room and four-room flats than Buona Vista, another new estate, did worse electorally.

Marine Parade won with 76 per cent of the votes cast as compared to 81 per cent for Buona Vista. 

Was it because the candidate in Marine Parade was new while Ang Kok Peng was known, being a second-term MP shifted from Crawford? Mr Lee did not provide the answer. He added that whoever could solve the riddle would have one of the qualifications to succeed him but only one.

After his speech ended, there was a rush to the washroom. My bladder was about to burst. There was no time to think of the answer."

- Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong, in a Facebook post yesterday

5 VISITS AFTER FIRE ATTACK

"In 2009, during a constituency event, somebody attacked me. I was recuperating in Singapore General Hospital. The elder Mr Lee visited me five times in total.

Each time, in my semi-conscious state, I was awakened by his voice: 'I am Lee Kuan Yew, I am Lee Kuan Yew.'

I would open my eyes and, feeling very guilty, I would tell him weakly, 'You should be with your wife', because Mrs Lee was also very ill at that time. He didn't answer me - not because he could not hear me. It was because he still intended to visit me again."

- Ang Mo Kio GRC MP Seng Han Thong at a tribute event held in Ang Mo Kio yesterday

THE 'MISSING' MUSICIANS

"I remember his attendance at a concert in 1990, where John Bingham played the 4th and 5th Beethoven piano concertos. Having joined the SSO board that year, I was seated in the row directly behind him and Mrs Lee on the balcony of Victoria Concert Hall.

Some time into the third movement, I remember Mr Lee kept glancing at his programme booklet, then would look at the orchestra for a few seconds before looking down again. This went on for some time.

At the intermission reception, he said to Mrs Lu Sinclair, the orchestra's manager: 'I see your booklet lists 80 musicians. I see only 53 on stage. What are the rest doing?'

Mrs Sinclair explained that the Beethoven concertos, as with many classical works, required fewer musicians. To which came the inevitable rapid-fire questions: 'What are the other musicians doing when not required?' and 'Are they paid?'

He was eventually mollified by Mrs Sinclair's explanation that some of the absentees had participated in a schools outreach programme during the week."

- Singapore Symphony Orchestra chairman Goh Yew Lin, in an e-mail to SSO directors and council members

GREAT LEADER

"I pay respects to a great leader of Singapore and of Asean. With his distinct vision and dedication, the late first Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew built Singapore into a modern, vibrant country and, with the same vision and commitment, he played an important role in the formation and rise of Asean.

He has left for us a lasting legacy and for that the people of the Asean community will forever remember him."


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