الأربعاء , يونيو 17 2020

Singapore founder Lee lies in state

Thousands of people in Singapore are queuing to pay tribute to late statesman Lee Kuan Yew as he lies in state in parliament.

His body was moved by gun carriage on Wednesday morning from his official residence and through the city.

Mr Lee, who died in hospital on Monday aged 91, led the city-state to independence and served as its prime minister for 31 years.

Singapore is observing a week of mourning ahead of Sunday’s funeral.

Guards stand by Lee Kuan Yew's coffin in Parliament House, Singapore (25 March 2015)

A new breed of orchid named after Lee Kuan Yew is displayed by his coffin in Parliament House

People queue in Singapore (25 March 2015)

Huge queues have formed in the area around Parliament House

Mr Lee’s body has been resting at the Istana – the compound which houses the president’s official residence and the prime minister’s office – for a private family mourning period. Thousands have already left flowers and message at its gates and signed books of condolence.

His flag-draped coffin, accompanied by representatives of the military and government, was then carried from the Istana through the main shopping and business districts, before arriving at Parliament House.

Crowds cheered, clapped and chanted his name as the procession passed by.

The BBC’s Tessa Wong says the mood was expectant, even a little festive, along the Bras Basah Road thoroughfare, where hundreds of people – including schoolchildren holding handmade signs stating “RIP Mr Lee” – had gathered by the roadside and on rooftops.

But as traffic cleared and the gun carriage rolled into view, a hush descended on the crowd. A few threw bouquets of flowers on the road or shouted goodbye. Several looked teary-eyed.

People queue to pay their respects to the late Singapore former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, lying in state at the Parliament House in Singapore 25 March 2015.

The queue of people waiting to pay their respects to Mr Lee snaked for kilometres through the city centre

Members of the public grieve, some bowing in prayer, while paying respects to the late Lee Kuan Yew at the Parliament House where he will lie in state for four days, Wednesday, 25 March 2015, in Singapore

Many grieved and offered prayers at Mr Lee’s Singapore flag-draped coffin in Parliament House

Many organisations and businesses are giving employees time off to pay their respects. By midday, huge queues had formed in the area around parliament.

On Tuesday, Singapore’s current prime minster, Mr Lee’s son Lee Hsien Loong, thanked all who had paid tribute, via his Facebook page.

He also announced that a new orchid – Singapore’s national flower – had been named after his father. The orchid, named Aranda Lee Kuan Yew, will also be displayed at Parliament House.

Global admiration

Lee Kuan Yew – widely known as LKY – oversaw Singapore’s independence from Britain and separation from Malaysia and co-founded the People’s Action Party (PAP), which has governed Singapore since 1959.

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong speaks to children at the Istana (24 March 2015)

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong thanked Singaporeans for their messages of support

Public pay tribute at the Istana, Singapore (24 March 2015)

Thousands have already paid tribute at the Istana

Man reads a newspaper in Singapore (23 March 2015)

Lee Kuan Yew’s death sparked an outpouring of grief in the city-state he led to prosperity

He was the architect of Singapore’s transformation from a dependent, port city to a stable, prosperous independent state and a global financial hub.

However, he also introduced tight control. One of his legacies was a clampdown on the press – tight restrictions that remain in place today – while measures such as corporal punishment have been criticised as repressive.

Dissent – and political opponents – were ruthlessly quashed. Today, PAP remains firmly in control. There are currently six opposition lawmakers in parliament.

He was widely admired by world leaders, but criticised what he saw as the overly liberal approach of the US and the West, saying it had “come at the expense of orderly society”.

شاهد أيضاً

COPTIC SOLIDARITY LAUNCHES URGENT CALL TO END CRIME OF FORCED DISAPPEARANCE OF COPTIC WOMEN IN EGYPT

A Coptic woman, Ranya Abd al-Masih (“servant of Christ”), 39, disappeared in Egypt on April 22, 2020, …