Saturday, March 28, 2015
Paid respects to LKY today...
Last night, I was supposed to fly to KL for a holiday until Monday. It was supposed to be my first time to visit friend I-van since he moved there.
But then, Monday happened and that made me think twice about going to KL. When I confirmed that I-van won't be around in KL this weekend as he is in Korea for work, I told him that I'll just postpone the trip. One, I really want to be in Singapore this entire week. Two, it doesn't seem to make sense for me to be in KL when the person I intend to visit is not there. Hehe!
When that was settled, the next thing that needed to be arranged was the visit to Parliament House to pay respects to Singapore's first Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew. I knew Richie would want to go. Even before, he already said he hopes he would be in Singapore when the great leader passes on. He got his wish.
Today was the only day he can go to Parliament House. The same was true for me. I think Friday night and Saturday would be the time everyone who didn't get to go from Wednesday until Friday morning will try to go. Initially, Richie and I planned to go in the evening, around midnight. Later on, we decided to just go this morning.
I have to say you really have to give it to Singapore when it comes to efficiency and preparedness. The queue was orderly. There was free water, biscuits and flavoured drinks in packets. At the entrance to the Padang, umbrellas were distributed for use. Portalets were located in specific areas. First Aid stations were available. The volunteers even walked around giving cardboards for people to sit on on the grass. One Army officer came over to our group to brief us on the procedure. He explained that huge groups were kept in holding areas so that they won't have to sit, stand, move to next area, sit, stand, move to the next area.
Closer to the Parliament House, condolence cards and pens were readily available for the public to write their messages for LKY and/or his family. Even the style of the pen (black to signify mourning? Or am I reading too much into things?) was thought of!
Everything was so well-planned! Mr. Lee would have been so proud and impressed.
Inside the Parliament House, the mood was very sombre. Richie and I were at the hall where the great leader laid in state for under a minute. We just bowed down. I said a silent prayer and quietly whispered "Thank you, LKY."
On Sunday, I plan to stand along the street along with thousands of other people to wait for the gun carriage carrying his body to pass by. That will be the last time to say thank you and farewell to him.
So many articles have been written extolling the virtues of Mr. Lee Kuan Yew. I also like this article and this article. I won't add another one.
Really, all I want to say is "Thank you" to you and your team for everything that you have done to make Singapore what it is today. It is truly remarkable. You will be remembered by generations to come, Mr. LKY!