Tears, salutes & a goodbye kiss

She stood outside the Istana, trying to muffle her sobs.

But her sobs became audible when the hearse bearing Mr Lee Kuan Yew's body arrived for the private family wake at Sri Temasek.

Secretary Sukhi Dhillon, 48, was so distraught when she woke up to the sad news of Mr Lee's passing that she took a day off from work to come to terms with the loss.

She said: "It is because of him that water flows through our taps. It is because of him we are safe when we walk on the streets.

"I grew up watching this man lead Singapore. He was a stern leader. He didn't show it, but it was obvious that Mr Lee had a heart of gold."

She joined the many Singaporeans who turned up at the Istana yesterday to pen their condolences and offer floral tributes.

At one point, the queue snaked all the way back to Plaza Singapura.

Also holding back her tears at the Istana was Madam Stephanie See Toh, 52, who owns a business.

She spoke about how touched she was to see Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong addressing the nation hours after his father's death.

"You can tell he was holding back his emotions, but yet he composed himself to speak to the nation," she said.

At the Singapore General Hospital, a steady stream of visitors added flowers to an already large pile of cards and balloons put there by well-wishers over the past few days.

A spokesman for the hospital said they would eventually send everything to the Prime Minister's Office.


At Tanjong Pagar Community Club, crowds started streaming in after office hours.

Even though the centre was supposed to close at 8pm, doors were left open for well-wishers who wanted to pen their condolences, even at 10pm.

A middle-aged man was heard paying his tribute with army-style shouts of "Thank you, Mr Lee!"

Earlier in the day, Minister for Social and Family Development and Second Minister for Defence Chan Chun Sing, and Senior Minister of State for Law and Education Indranee Rajah were at the community club to pay their respects.

In the evening, Minister of State for Culture, Community and Youth Sam Tan was also spotted at the community club, bowing to visitors who came by.

He said he was grateful to those who had turned up and Mr Lee was like a father figure to him.

But the day did not go by without drama.

Two people were hurt when a glass door at a cafe, adjacent to the community club's multipurpose hall, shattered at around 6pm.

An elderly man was seen sitting amid the shattered glass, with a shocked look on his face. Several people ran to his aid, took him to a chair and cleaned off the blood on the right side of his face.

Another elderly woman was also seen with blood on her right hand. Paramedics arrived shortly and attended to them.

Both declined to comment. As of last night, there was no information as to why the door had shattered.

Perhaps one of the sweetest moments of the day was captured when Marin Lim, 5, left her own little note at the Istana.

She scrawled: "Thank you Mr Lee Kuan Yew for building Singapore." She signed off "from Marin", then drew a heart and a star.

When her parents asked her if she wanted to do anything else before they left, Marin responded by blowing a kiss towards the sky and said: "That's for Mr Lee."

Lee Kuan YewSingapore