Wednesday, April 22, 2015

In Memoriam: Lee Kuan Yew at National Museum of Singapore

I'm back to National Museum of Singapore again, I think my last visit to the museum was about a year ago. National Museum is the oldest museum in Singapore. It has an architectural landmark, prominently located at Stamford Road. 

Actually I wanted to come here to take a look at the exhibitions of Lee Kuan Yew. This exhibition has been extended to 24 May 2015 and admission is free for all visitors. We decided to come on a weekday to avoid any crowd.

This exhibition chronicles that journey and pays tribute to his contributions. It allows us to remember and reflect on the solid foundation that he built for Singapore.

Following the signage.

This exhibition is a memorial to Lee Kuan Yew’s contributions to Singapore where we learnt about his  ideals and convictions that shaped him and his generation of leaders.

A picture of Mr Lee when he was younger.

A mother was reading out the contributions of Mr Lee to her 2 children. They were listening attentively. So heart warming to see such a scene, parents play a big role in nurturing their children the right values.

Here with Kai Pin, who is interested in coming to see the exhibitions too.

There was only one place that we needed to queue, which was to view the glass exhibition. The queue was not too long, within 5 minutes and it was already our turn. 

Barrister wig and container from 1949.
On admission to the Bar, Mr and Mrs Lee bought barrister wigs.

Rolex Oyster Perpetual watch from 1953.
This watch was presented to Mr Lee Kuan Yew by the Singapore Union of Postal and Telecommunications Workers. He had successfully represented the presented the union in an arbitration over a wage dispute.

The famous telegram from 1958.

The telegram was sent to Mrs Lee with the message: "ARRIVING TODAY BATTLESHIP = LEEKUANYEW”

Initially they thought that Mr Lee Kuan Yew will arrived in a battleship so they checked with the British Naval Base if there is any battleship arriving from Sarawak.

Actually what Mr Lee Kuan Yew meant was he will arrived that day and wanted to have steam boat for dinner. Because telegrams were charged by the word, he wrote “battleship” instead, to save words and money!

I learnt something from the telegram. Steam boat = Battleship.
So next time if I say battleship, you will know what I mean right?

Poster of Singapore’s First Legislative Assembly in 1955.

The poster includes 25 members elected in Singapore’s first General Election under the Rendel Constitution. Mr Lee Kuan Yew, the Member for Tanjong Pagar, won his seat by the widest margin among all the candidates. He had represented Tanjong Pagar since then.

Leaflet for Legislative Assembly By-election at Tanjong Pagar in 1957.

This leaflet contains an open letter to the voters of Tanjong Pagar, explaining the PAP’s aim to end colonialism and establish an independent, non-communist Malaya. 

Leaflet for Legislative Assembly General Election in 1959.
It features a write-up of Lee Kuan Yew as the party’s secretary-general and candidate for Tanjong Pagar. 

The Battle for Merger – Malay, English and Chinese editions in 1961. 

We then went on to view the photographic images and audiovisual recordings. Every image has a story behind it.

The exhibition begins with Mr Lee’s life as a law student at Cambridge to his political career from the formation of the People’s Action Party, through his Prime Ministership, to his final years of service as Senior Minister and Minister Mentor.

Lee Kuan Yew has devoted all his life to Singapore. 

His legacy
He believed in a fair and just society, one in which every citizen had a stake. 
He believed we could be “one united people, regardless of race, language or religion”. 
He believed government had to be honest and strong if it was to be a force for good. 
He insisted on the rule of law, meritocracy and zero tolerance of corruption. 

It is upon these solid foundations laid by Mr Lee Kuan Yew and his generation of leaders that Singapore will continue to thrive in the decades to come.

We must continue to live his legacy to keep all these going.

Tributes to Mr Lee Kuan Yew.

Red ministerial box, mid-20th century.

This red box was used by Mr Lee Kuan Yew while he was in political office. It contained his work – papers, speech drafts, letters, readings, notes and cassette tapes with his recorded instructions. 

This is the red box mention by Minister for Education Heng Swee Keat. Mr Lee used this red box all the way until 4 February 2015, the day before he was hospitalised. Today, it has become a symbol of Mr Lee’s unwavering commitment to Singapore.

Rosewood rostrum from 1970s.

This was the rostrum used when Mr Lee Kuan Yew delivered his annual National Day Rally when he was Prime Minister.

It was a fruitful trip to learn about Mr Lee Kuan Yew's contributions. He inspired me to become a better person and to give in my best in whatever I do. Your legacy will continue to live in us.

Thank you.

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