Saturday 19 March 2016

21-gun salute shell casings from Lee Kuan Yew's funeral given to groups, individuals

By Jermyn Chow, The Straits Times, 18 Mar 2016

The artillery shell casings from the 21-gun salute, fired during the state funeral of founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew last March, have been given to 21 organisations and individuals.

The gift is to express "my deep thanks to all of them for the roles they played in my father's life and for their contributions to the nation", said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in a Facebook post yesterday.

Those given the casings include national agencies such as the Singapore Armed Forces and People's Association (PA) as well as individuals who delivered eulogies at the funeral service, like Old Guard leader and former education minister Ong Pang Boon.

Mr Lee died on March 23 at age 91.

The week-long national mourning and state funeral "were an intense and emotional experience for us all", PM Lee said.

To honour him, a 21-gun salute was fired from four Howitzer guns at the Padang - the site of many historic events - by gunners from the 21st Battalion, Singapore Artillery.

Said PM Lee: "I asked the SAF to collect the 21 artillery shell casings, to be presented to people, institutions and organisations that were closely linked to Mr Lee."

Yesterday, about 600 PA staff, grassroots leaders and volunteers gathered at its headquarters in King George's Avenue, to witness the memento being handed to PA's deputy chairman Chan Chun Sing and chief executive director Ang Hak Seng.

Both men then placed the shell casing on a shelf near the entrance of the headquarters.

Mr Chan, who is also the labour chief, said he hoped the memento will be a reminder to all grassroots leaders and volunteers of the PA's mission to continue to build a cohesive society, regardless of people's backgrounds and differences.

He urged them to anticipate challenges, take care of residents, be bold and turn every constraint into an opportunity to ensure Singapore can be "even better than what we have been".

The shell casings can also be viewed by people at other places.

The Housing Board said its gift is on display at the HDB Gallery in the HDB Hub in Toa Payoh.

Its chief executive Cheong Koon Hean said Mr Lee was the key driver of public housing.

"His vision of a home-owning society has given Singaporeans a tangible stake in the nation. Without his vision, Singaporeans today would not have a home they can call their own, upon which they can build their family and lives."

The National Parks Board (NParks) will display its shell casing at the Singapore Botanic Gardens Heritage Museum from today.

NParks chief executive Kenneth Er said it was Mr Lee's vision to turn Singapore into a Garden City.

"We will strive to continue his legacy and sustain his vision, working with the community to transform Singapore into a City in a Garden," he said.

This morning, PA received 1 of the 21 artillery shell casings from the 21-gun salute fired for Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s State Funeral procession on 29 March 2015.We are honoured to receive this shell casing given to people, institutions and organisations that have been closely associated with Mr Lee.This is especially meaningful to us as PA was Mr Lee’s brainchild; he was our founding Chairman.More importantly, today is a reminder for us to recommit ourselves towards building a better Singapore, for our fellow Singaporeans.
Posted by The People's Association on Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Among the individual recipients, some donated the casings to public and community organisations.

They include PM Lee, who gave his to the National Heritage Board, and Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong, who gave his to Marine Parade community club.

Tanjong Pagar community leader Mr Leong Chun Loong, 80, who had served at the constituency since 1976, gave his gift to its community centre. "What we have achieved is not due to just my efforts. The gift is to recognise all my fellow grassroots volunteers who have contributed.

"Also, I'd rather display it in a public place so more people can see it."

Read Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's appreciation letter to the PA ---->

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Where you can view the shells
The Straits Times, 18 Mar 2016

National Museum

The artillery shell casing, which Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong donated to the National Heritage Board, will be on display at the We Built A Nation exhibition, which runs from March 23 to Oct 2.

Housing Board Gallery

The gift is on display at the HDB Gallery, which is at basement 1 of the HDB Hub in Toa Payoh.

Two of our Ministry of National Development agencies were each presented with a very special gift - the artillery shell...
Posted by Lawrence Wong on Thursday, March 17, 2016

Botanic Gardens

The shell casing, given to the National Parks Board, will be on display at the Singapore Botanic Gardens Heritage Museum from today.

Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau

The casing will be on show at an exhibition called Declassified - Corruption Matters, which will be held from April 7 to May 22 at The Plaza@ National Library.

PM Lee will open the exhibition, which charts Singapore's anti-corruption journey.

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Lee Kuan Yew ‘planned well’ for post-LKY Singapore: Khaw Boon Wan
His meticulous planning helped S'pore to cross major milestone without any mishap, says Khaw
By Pearl Lee, The Straits Times, 18 Mar 2016

When founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew died last March, there was sadness across the country. But people did not despair or feel helpless, and investors did not lose confidence in Singapore, said People's Action Party (PAP) chairman Khaw Boon Wan.

He credited the calm response to Mr Lee's "meticulous planning and effective execution".

Indeed, it was due to his leadership that "Singapore crossed a major milestone without any mishap", Mr Khaw said yesterday, at an event to mark the first anniversary of Mr Lee's death on March 23 last year, at age 91.

The commemorative event, held at the party's headquarters in New Upper Changi Road, was attended by about 250 PAP MPs and party members.

Said Mr Khaw, who is also Coordinating Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Minister: "(Mr Lee) did his utmost to build enduring institutions and imbue in the people running them the values of integrity, meritocracy, sound governance and timely succession planning."

Mr Lee was a founding member of the party and its first secretary-general.

Mr Khaw also unveiled an artillery shell casing from a 21-gun salute for Mr Lee's state funeral, which Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong gave to the party.

Mr Khaw said the gift "is a permanent reminder to all party members of the ideals which Comrade Lee Kuan Yew brought to the party, and his selfless dedication to improving the lives of Singaporeans".

He added: "He showed us the way forward, how to ensure Singapore's relevance to a world (that is) full of surprises and risks. We cannot predict the future, but we can prepare our people so that, come what may, we can always prevail."

Like Mr Khaw, Mr Ng Kah Ting, who was Punggol MP from 1963 to 1991, said Mr Lee searched hard for new blood to take over the running of the party and Singapore.

"From the 70s onwards, he began to look for younger and newer talent to take over from him and his team," said Mr Ng, 76.

Mr Lee handed the reins to Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong in 1990, after 31 years at the helm.

Mr Ng added: "(Mr Lee) was relentless and uncompromising in his persistent casting of his net for such people... That's the pragmatism and unselfishness of Comrade Lee Kuan Yew. He believed it was his duty to do the correct thing."

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Posted by People's Action Party on Thursday, March 17, 2016

Young PAP member Nicole Leong, 32, who described herself as a member of the generation that received the fruits of the pioneer generation's labour, said: "Mr Lee and his team strived to overcome many hardships and setbacks so that we could thump our chests and announce to the world that we have arrived."

The event closed with the crowd reciting the National Pledge and singing the National Anthem. They also sang the emblematic National Day Parade song Home.

Yesterday's event is among a long list of events that individuals and groups will hold in the coming days to remember Mr Lee.

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