Singaporeans pay tearful tributes to Mr Lee Kuan Yew at the Istana

A Singaporean cries as she reads condolence messages at the entrance to the Istana following the death of former prime minister Mr Lee Kuan Yew in Singapore on March 23,
Tribute pour in for the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew at gates of the Istana

Some came with flowers, others with handwritten letters. But all came with a heavy heart  to pay tribute to Mr Lee Kuan Yew on Monday (March 23).

During lunchtime, people patiently waited to pen their tributes on the condolence boards set up in front of the main gates of the Istana. The queue stretched to Plaza Singapura.

For some, it was too much to hold back the tears. 

Mr Mauricio Soliano told The New Paper:"My father always told me, 'This man will build up Singapore and you will have a better place to live.'

Mr Soliano paused to compose himself before adding: "He's done his work, he needs his rest, now we have to let him go," 

Another of those in line was 15-year-old Muhammad Rusyaidi Mustapa. He was with his mother, Madam Rohaya Said.

He said: "We came down to show our appreciation to our former prime minister Mr Lee Kuan Yew.

"Even though I'm too young to know him, I know that he is an icon because he made Singapore what it is today."

Said Madam Rohaya, 50: "We feel very sad but (the news) was expected because of his condition over the last few weeks."

Others talked about how Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong addressed the nation even though he was grieving. 

Said Madam Stephanie See Toh, 52, who was there with her husband and daughter: "You could tell that he was holding back his emotions but yet he composed himself to speak to the nation."


Those who wish to pen their tributes can do so on condolence boards outside the Istana and Parliament House.

The boards will be up until Sunday, March 29, the day of the funeral.

People can also pay their last respects at 18 community centres across Singapore.

Related reports: Here's where you can pay last respects to Mr Lee Kuan Yew

Road closures for Mr Lee Kuan Yew's state funeral

Certain roads around Parliament House will be closed this week for the state funeral of Mr Lee Kuan Yew.

Members of the public can pay their respects to the elder statesman at Parliament House from Wednesday (March 25) to Saturday (March 28) between 10am and 8pm.

Mr Lee died peacefully at 3.18am on Monday (March 23) at the Singapore General Hospital.


There may be traffic delays along Hill Street, High Street and North Bridge Road during this period, the Traffic Police said.

The carpark at Parliament House will be closed during this period.

Those planning to attend the state funeral are advised to take public transport.

A gun carriage will carry Mr Lee's coffin from Istana to the Parliament House on Wednesday.

Certain roads (indicated in the map below) will be closed from 8.45am to 9.30am that day to facilitate the movement.


Vehicles parked illegally along the affected roads will be towed away.

Officers will be stationed at all affected road junctions to direct traffic.

Need more information on the lying in state and the procession? Call the hotline at 6336-1166.

More reports at


Singapore sports community pay tribute to Mr Lee Kuan Yew

Mr Lee Kuan Yew raises the Youth Olympic Flame at the Promontory@Marina Bay in Singapore on Aug 13, 2010, before the inaugural Youth Olympic Games, with Singapore's then Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports, Dr Vivian Balakrishnan (left) and Singapore National Olympic Council member Ng Ser Miang (right).

Athletes and members of the sports community in Singapore took to social media to pay tribute to founding father Mr Lee Kuan Yew, who died earlier today (March 23). 

Singapore National Olympic Council member Ng Ser Miang (from Facebook):

Thank you, Mr Lee Kuan Yew, for building Singapore to what it is today - prosperous, peaceful, safe and harmonious.
Thank you for lighting the flame for the nation, we will keep it burning.

National footballer Baihakki Khaizan:

Former discus star James Wong, on Facebook:

Former Singapore Table Tennis Association president and MP Lee Bee Wah:




Former national football captain and SEA Games football coach Aide Iskandar:


RIP LKY! You will greatly be missed! A sad day for Singapore

A photo posted by @aide05 on

Asian Games gold medallist swimmer Joseph Schooling:

Singapore National Olympic Council president and Manpower Minister Tan Chuan-Jin:




National footballer Khairul Amri, on Instagram:

Singapore Bowling Federation president Jessie Phua:

Singapore Sailing Federation president and Nominated MP Dr Benedict Tan:

More reports at

Foreign media hail modern Singapore's founding father

A man bows as he pays his respects to late former prime minister Lee Kuan Yew at Tanjong Pagar community club, in the constituency which Mr Lee represented as Member of Parliament since 1955.

How did the world see Mr Lee Kuan Yew?

Many paid tribute to his achievements, though several criticised his policies. In life and in death, the man they call modern Singapore's founding father continues to draw fans and detractors.

But overall, no one could deny he was instrumental to Singapore's success.

Here's a look at some foreign media online reports as news of his passing made headlines around the world.

Malaysia's New Straits Times


Hong Kong's South China Morning Post


China's CCTV


Australia's Sydney Morning Herald


Al Jazeera 




CNN International


The Economist magazine


Foreign Policy magazine

Wall Street Journal


Sources: Facebook, Twitter

More reports at

Singaporeans, foreigners sign condolence book for Mr Lee Kuan Yew in China

 People arrive with flowers to pay their respects to Singapore's former prime minister Lee Kuan Yew, in the gardens of the Singapore Consulate in Shanghai on March 23, 2015
People arriving with flowers to pay their respects to Mr Lee Kuan Yew, in the gardens of the Singapore Consulate in Shanghai on Monday

Ambassadors, Singaporeans and foreigners of various nationalities turned up at the Singapore embassy in Beijing on Monday (March 23) to sign the condolence book for Mr Lee Kuan Yew.

Among the first to do so were several ambassadors to China from Asean nations including Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Brunei and Laos.

Indonesian envoy Soegeng Rahardjo wrote that while Singapore and Singaporeans have lost their founding father and a great leader, others who have “come to know and work with Mr Lee have lost a dear friend and fine colleague”.

Philippine ambassador Erlinda Basilio described Mr Lee as “a visionary and great statesman” and said the Philippines will always remember him “as not only a leader of Singapore but also as a founder of Asean who nurtured the grouping into what it has become”.

A sombre mood hung in the air in a hall that was open to the public, with some people bearing flowers and others looking misty-eyed.

One of them was Mr Prabu Naidu, a 58-year-old Singaporean who arrived in Beijing on Sunday for a two-week business trip.

Sign the book

When he heard the news of Mr Lee’s passing, the first thing he wanted to do was to sign the condolence book, he told The Straits Times.

He was at the Singapore embassy at noon but was told that it would only open at 2pm.

He returned after lunch and was the first person in the queue.  By 3.30pm, more than 100 people had turned up at the embassy.

Said Mr Naidu: “I never spoke to him personally but I remember when I was at Queenstown Secondary school that he gave a speech at the opening of Queenstown Library where he talked about the importance of education.

“Having grown up in the system, I feel a personal connection to him. Even today I never miss his speeches.”

Mr Jonathan Ng, 27, was in the vicinity of the embassy and decided to stop by.

Said Mr Ng, who works for Air China Cargo: “He has dedicated his whole life to the country, for all the effort he has given, this is the least I can do.”

Source: The Straits Times

More reports at


Condolences all the way from Jamaica

Former prime minister of Jamaica Andrew Holness said both Singapore and Jamaica started out around the same time but Mr Lee Kuan Yew has brought Singapore much further ahead than the North American nation.

The two countries may be 18,000km apart, but Jamaica's politicians have joined in the worldwide expression of condolence over Mr Lee Kuan Yew's passing.

In the Jamaica Labour Party's release on Mr Lee's death, Mr Andrew Holness, the leader of the opposition, said both countries started out at around the same time, gaining independence from the British in the 1960s.

Mr Lee visited Jamaica to look at some of the things the country was doing to grow after independence and, according to the Jamaica Gleaner, "successfully transferred some of these ideas to his homeland".

Mr Holness said: "Jamaicans have great respect for the great developer, who was able to move his people from the depths of poverty to prosperity in less than a generation."

Just last week, Mr Holness, who was prime minister for a brief period from October 2011 to January 2012, spoke extensively about Mr Lee's work during his recent presentation on the country's budget and contrasted the fortunes of the two nations.

“While Singapore is far ahead of us in terms of development, there are some important lessons to learn from Lee Kuan Yew’s teachings. As a people, we need to look at the best examples of development and the creation of prosperity.

"We wish the entire family of Singapore strength in their time of grief and we want to let them know that Jamaica is grieving as well because the tremendous respect we have for Mr Lee Kuan Yew."

Jamaica's current prime minister, Mr Edward Seaga, also noted how his country has "fallen short" when compared with Singapore.

Mr Seaga said: "They stuck with one ideology, one strategy, and there was no shifting away from those. They never had any internal quarrels. (Lee) set a development course and maintained them on that course.

"Their belief structure that they stood by and followed throughout, they were the forerunners in all of this. When they were developing, the other countries weren't doing well."

Source: Jamaica Observer, Jamaica Gleaner

More reports at

Mr Lee Kuan Yew is one of the greatest leaders of modern times, says Japan's prime minister

The demise of such a great leader is indeed a great loss not only to Singapore but also to the entire international community, said Mr Abe
The demise of such a great leader is indeed a great loss not only to Singapore but also to the entire international community, said Mr Abe

The prime minister of Japan, Mr Shinzo Abe, said he was deeply saddened by the news of the passing of Mr Lee Kuan Yew.

In a condolence message to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Mr Abe offered Japan’s deepest sympathy and heartfelt condolences to him, his family and the Government and people of Singapore.

Said Mr Abe: “His Excellency Mr Lee Kuan Yew is one of the greatest leaders of modern times that Asia has ever produced.

"With his incomparable leadership and unparalleled insights, His Excellency Mr Lee Kuan Yew played, for more than half a century and throughout his life, a key role not only in achieving Singapore’s remarkable economic growth and prosperity but also in securing peace and stability of the Asia Pacific region and the world.  He was highly revered all over the world.

“In the bilateral context, His Excellency Mr Lee Kuan Yew, during and after his tenure as Prime Minister, frequently visited Japan including his State Visit to Japan in 1968 and made outstanding contributions in the advancement of the today’s good and close relations between Singapore and Japan.

“I still vividly remember how much I was impressed by his profound wisdom, including when I met him in person in 2014.”

Mr Abe said the demise of such a great leader is indeed a great loss not only to Singapore but also to the entire international community. 

“At this time of bereavement, I hope that your people will overcome this grievous loss and, under your good leadership, your nation will build upon his legacy and achieve further success.

“May his legacy live on, may his soul rest in eternal peace.”

"As we mourn his passing, let's build on his legacy"

Chairman of PAP Central Executive Committee Khaw Boon Wan: As we mourn (Mr Lee Kuan Yew's) passing, let's also re-dedicate ourselves to building on his legacy.

As Singaporeans share their memories of the country's key founding father, tributes for Mr Lee Kuan Yew continue pouring in.

Mr Khaw Boon Wan, chairman of the People's Action Party Central Executive Committee, said in a statement:

Founding Secretary General Comrade Lee Kuan Yew has devoted his whole life to Singapore.

Millions of Singaporeans have improved their lives because of his dedication and sacrifice.

As we mourn his passing, let's also re-dedicate ourselves to building on his legacy, for the Party and for Singapore.

Our deepest condolences to Secretary General Comrade Lee Hsien Loong and the family of Comrade Lee Kuan Yew.

The Islamic Religious Council (Muis) also issued a statement:

Muis, along with the Singapore Muslim community, is deeply saddened by the passing of Mr Lee Kuan Yew, and expresses its deepest condolences and sympathies to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his family.

The community has always held the late Mr Lee in high esteem, as a leader and a nation-builder.

As the first Prime Minister of Singapore, Mr Lee led the government from 1959 to 1990 and transformed Singapore from a third-world country to a first-world developed city despite our small population, limited land space and scarce resources.

As the nation developed, Mr Lee also supported and helped the Malay Muslim community grow.

Then-Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew (seated, third from left) at Geylang Serai Malay settlement. PHOTO: Muis


Among his many contributions was facilitating the formation of Muis as a statutory body when the Administration of Muslim Law Act (AMLA) took effect in 1968.

He will also always be remembered for his strong support for the introduction of the Mosque Building Fund Scheme in 1975, which helped the community to rally together and strengthen this key community institution during Singapore’s period of rapid urbanisation and industrialisation.

Mr Lee’s leadership contributed to the growth of our economy, progress in the field of education, and peace, stability and harmony.

Mr Lee gracing the iftar (break of fast) session at Al Amin Mosque in 2010.  PHOTO: Muis


The Singaporean Muslim community too has grown and prospered in tandem with Singapore, and has garnered respect in the international arena as a successful minority community in a secular state.

We join the nation in mourning the loss of a great statesman and leader.

Our thoughts and prayers are with PM Lee and his family during this very difficult moment.


Related reports:

Mr Goh Chok Tong to PM Lee: Condolences cannot erase the pain of your bereavement

Opposition parties pay their respects

Singaporeans pay tribute to Mr Lee Kuan Yew with art

A former journalist remembers Lee Kuan Yew

Mr Lee was one great man who showed us that at the very core of his existence, he was also just another family man, says Dr Goh.

I was a Straits Times reporter back in the 90s when I accompanied Mr Lee Kuan Yew on an official visit to China. 

I sat next to him at one dinner and, as usual, the then-Senior Minister was firing questions at us journalists at the same table and we hardly had a bite of the delicious Suzhou food.

Mrs Lee, who was sat on the other side of him, reminded him that we poor reporters were exhausted and should not be “interrogated over dinner”. 

A smiling Mr Lee quickly let off a hearty apology and never raised another question again!

Us hungry journos had a hearty (“peaceful”) meal that evening.

While most of us remembered Mrs Lee for that incident at the time, it is only today, more than two decades later, that it dawned upon me the incident reflected as much about the man as did his wife. 

Mr Lee was a wonderful husband and like most of us ordinary husbands, needed the occasional nudge from our other, better half.

Yet while some of hubbies may feel annoyed or embarrassed at being chided in public, here is one great man who showed us that at the very core of his existence, he was also just another family man.

Dr Sunny Goh

Singaporeans pay tribute to Mr Lee Kuan Yew with art

This black and white photo of a ribbon with an image of Mr Lee Kuan Yew has been adopted by many Singaporeans, who are using this as their profile picture

Singaporeans have taken to social media to express their grief over the passing of Mr Lee Kuan Yew.

More notably, art pieces, including sketches and graphic work have been shared among Singaporeans on social media including Instagram.

The most popular is the black and white picture of a ribbon with Mr Lee's face.

After several MPs like Mr Baey Yam Keng and Ms Sim Ann changed their profile picture to the photo with the ribbon, many Singaporeans have followed suit on Facebook.

It is also being shared on Twitter and Instagram. 

Mr Baey said that the picture was done by the People's Action Party.

Below are some other images that are being shared online.



A photo posted by SGAG (@sgagsg) on






Lee Kuan Yew, at Commonwealth Close, Blk 82-83, HDB’s third estate in Queenstown known for its chap lak lao (16 floors) and outdone the colonial SIT’s 1956 Forfar House (14 floors) at Princess Estate, the HDB completed 1000 units of housing within 5 years. This was in May 1965. In the same year, Singapore separated from Malaysia on 9th August 1965. - However, Lee Kuan Yew and the pioneers like Lim Kim San, Goh Keng Swee and S.Rajaratnam, quickly regained composure and set out to work, together with our ah kongs, ah mas, papas and mamas to achieve what seemed impossible in 1965 and made Singapore what it is today. There were sacrifices and there were achievements, the Singapore story is no fairy tale but it is still no mean feat. - I think one of the most inspiring moments was when Lee Kuan Yew addressed and reassured the nation in 9th August 1965. As the leader of a young and uncertain Singapore, he knew he had a duty and he had to be strong: “I would like finally, if I may, just to speak not to you but really to the people of Singapore. I have been so busy in the last few days, I haven't had the time to compose my thoughts in writing to tell you what it is all about and why what has happened has happened." “There is nothing to be worried about it. Many things will go on just as usual. But be firm, be calm.” #LKY #LeeKuanYew #Queenstown #Singapore #illustration #pokpokandaway #李光耀 #新加坡 #RememberingLeeKuanYew #RememberingLKY #RIPLKY

A photo posted by Xin Li (@xinli29288) on




Thank you Mr Lee #riplky #rememberinglky

A photo posted by carpEDiem (@carpediem_78) on






Rest in peace, sg giant. Thank you for the lovely country. (Credit:May Huy Dung,

A photo posted by pxn ( on




Mr Lee Kuan Yew - Singapore's founding father (16 September 1923 - 23 Mar 2015) #RIPLKY #LeeKuanYew

A photo posted by OSH (@sensei_ong) on







#RIP #leekuanyew #singapore #foundingfather #visionary

A photo posted by Vernelle Noel (@vernelleaanoel) on