R E M E M B E R I N G  
L E E   K U A N   Y E W 
M A R C H   2 0 1 5

My girl, her mom, and myself went to Singapore's Parliament on March 28th 2015 to pay our last respect to the founding father of modern Singapore and first Prime Minister, Mr. Lee Kuan Yew, who passed away on March 23rd 2015. Here's scenes from our 4-hour wait at the Padang, to the moments after. Farewell, Grandfather Lee.

 

Photos taken using Sony NEX-F3, file conversion to b/w using Mac. Click on the images below to expand with more details.

 

[ back to documentary gallery ]

Remembering Lee Kuan Yew
Remembering Lee Kuan Yew

At 6pm, the Padang, which was transformed into a well-organised queuing area, hundreds of thousands of Singaporeans and visitors lined up before entering into Parliament to see his body lying in state. © Evan Hwong Photographs

Remembering Lee Kuan Yew
Remembering Lee Kuan Yew

The queue was supposed to snake from Padang through Esplanade, into Fullerton, towards Timbre at the Arts House via the Singapore River, and into Parliament. © Evan Hwong Photographs

Remembering Lee Kuan Yew
Remembering Lee Kuan Yew

We were told it would be a 3hr wait at the Padang before we move on to Esplanade, which would then take another 5hrs, even though Parliament is but a few meters away. © Evan Hwong Photographs

Remembering Lee Kuan Yew
Remembering Lee Kuan Yew

The sky was gloomy after an earlier rain. © Evan Hwong Photographs

Remembering Lee Kuan Yew
Remembering Lee Kuan Yew

...but the Padang was thankfully dry for us to sit on. Some volunteers came by to distribute pieces of cardboards for the elderly, women and children to sit on. © Evan Hwong Photographs

Remembering Lee Kuan Yew
Remembering Lee Kuan Yew

Various military agencies oversaw the queues, which started 24hrs since March 25th. © Evan Hwong Photographs

Remembering Lee Kuan Yew
Remembering Lee Kuan Yew

We were the last few to enter the Padang, as the day's entry was to be closed at 8pm. Previous nights saw queues lining up with a waiting period of over 10hrs. © Evan Hwong Photographs

Remembering Lee Kuan Yew
Remembering Lee Kuan Yew

By 8pm, the entry into Padang was closed. A few were given entry at the last minute, while many were turned away after that. © Evan Hwong Photographs

Remembering Lee Kuan Yew
Remembering Lee Kuan Yew

The entire evening's experience was well organized, people were calm, and the weather was comfortably pleasant after the rain earlier in the day. © Evan Hwong Photographs

Remembering Lee Kuan Yew
Remembering Lee Kuan Yew

Volunteer ushers and citizens helped out any way they can. © Evan Hwong Photographs

Remembering Lee Kuan Yew
Remembering Lee Kuan Yew

The local press corp standing by for any newsbites. © Evan Hwong Photographs

Remembering Lee Kuan Yew
Remembering Lee Kuan Yew

Portaloos set up for people to do their business. © Evan Hwong Photographs

Remembering Lee Kuan Yew
Remembering Lee Kuan Yew

More portaloos. © Evan Hwong Photographs

Remembering Lee Kuan Yew
Remembering Lee Kuan Yew

A special tent for people to lay their gifts, flowers, cards. © Evan Hwong Photographs

Remembering Lee Kuan Yew
Remembering Lee Kuan Yew

...while members of the SFOC (State Funeral Organising Committee) helped to rearrange the bouquets accordingly. © Evan Hwong Photographs

Remembering Lee Kuan Yew
Remembering Lee Kuan Yew

Various points of the Padang, reporters were seen making their hourly reports or interviewing the public. © Evan Hwong Photographs

Remembering Lee Kuan Yew
Remembering Lee Kuan Yew

By 9.30pm, the army began preparing to dismantle the barricades to get ready for Sunday's final possession and State Funeral Service. © Evan Hwong Photographs

Remembering Lee Kuan Yew
Remembering Lee Kuan Yew

Around the Padang, there was a certain calm that was shared by all. Some continued to stay silent as they reflect in honor of a departed leader, others read books, a few stretched themselves by walking around. © Evan Hwong Photographs

Remembering Lee Kuan Yew
Remembering Lee Kuan Yew

Volunteers were seen working tirelessly to help clean up the Padang. © Evan Hwong Photographs

Remembering Lee Kuan Yew
Remembering Lee Kuan Yew

Close to 10pm, the earlier batch before us started to move. Our turn would be soon. © Evan Hwong Photographs

Remembering Lee Kuan Yew
Remembering Lee Kuan Yew

More scenes around us. © Evan Hwong Photographs

Remembering Lee Kuan Yew
Remembering Lee Kuan Yew

Some reading on their phones, others on their tablets, while many others sat quietly all night long. © Evan Hwong Photographs

Remembering Lee Kuan Yew
Remembering Lee Kuan Yew

Some even brought along small foldable chairs. © Evan Hwong Photographs

Remembering Lee Kuan Yew
Remembering Lee Kuan Yew

Or sat back to back to lean on each other. © Evan Hwong Photographs

Remembering Lee Kuan Yew
Remembering Lee Kuan Yew

The one thing I noticed while in the crowd was how diverse the people around are, from various races, religions, skin color, and age groups. Yet all standing together as one - a trait Mr Lee has tirelessly worked on all his life to integrate and succeeded. © Evan Hwong Photographs

Remembering Lee Kuan Yew
Remembering Lee Kuan Yew

In a coordinated effort by the various armed forces of Singapore, the whole experience was amazingly well organized, and every efforts were made to make everybody there as comfortable as possible. © Evan Hwong Photographs

Remembering Lee Kuan Yew
Remembering Lee Kuan Yew

One would say it was all pretty well thought of, the way which group would move first, the various gate numbers to ensure which group has priority over the other (eg. elderlies, handicapped, or children below 6). © Evan Hwong Photographs

Remembering Lee Kuan Yew
Remembering Lee Kuan Yew

Various officials patrolled the Padang at certain intervals. © Evan Hwong Photographs

Remembering Lee Kuan Yew
Remembering Lee Kuan Yew

Every hour, someone, either a volunteer or army personnel, would be passing by handing out buns, biscuits, or water. © Evan Hwong Photographs

Remembering Lee Kuan Yew
Remembering Lee Kuan Yew

Priority goes to children and starving kiasu adults. © Evan Hwong Photographs

Remembering Lee Kuan Yew
Remembering Lee Kuan Yew

We were even served chicken rice! © Evan Hwong Photographs

Remembering Lee Kuan Yew
Remembering Lee Kuan Yew

It was humbling to see even if you own the most expensive of bags, you'd still won't mind the wait and sitting on the uncovered ground. © Evan Hwong Photographs

Remembering Lee Kuan Yew
Remembering Lee Kuan Yew

By 10pm, our batch was given the green light to move. © Evan Hwong Photographs

Remembering Lee Kuan Yew
Remembering Lee Kuan Yew

Since we were the last few groups, we did not go via Esplanade, Timbre etc, but would merge with the handicap queue next to National Gallery Singapore. © Evan Hwong Photographs

Remembering Lee Kuan Yew
Remembering Lee Kuan Yew

Thus cutting our 8hr queue time to 4. © Evan Hwong Photographs

Remembering Lee Kuan Yew
Remembering Lee Kuan Yew

Before entering the Parliament, our bags and body were scanned by security in front of Victoria Theatre, and The Arts House at the Old Parliament. © Evan Hwong Photographs

Remembering Lee Kuan Yew
Remembering Lee Kuan Yew

The final stretch into Parliament on the left, while on the right, the crowd that has paid their last respect. No cameras were allowed inside Parliament, but I'm sure you would've seen Mr Lee lying in state inside on TV or other medias. © Evan Hwong Photographs

Remembering Lee Kuan Yew
Remembering Lee Kuan Yew

As we exit, we turned around to look at Parliament House once again, with the success of Mr Lee prominently standing proud behind in forms of skyscrapers, of the peace and organized chaos we tend to take for granted, and the tolerance level of the various racial groups in Singapore. The flag above Parliament, unseen, was at half mast. © Evan Hwong Photographs

Remembering Lee Kuan Yew
Remembering Lee Kuan Yew

And back at Padang, peace, quiet, and very very little rubbish. © Evan Hwong Photographs

Remembering Lee Kuan Yew
Remembering Lee Kuan Yew

After sitting for so long, we treated ourselves with ice creams, and took the train home. In it, almost everybody wore black. On Sunday, March 29th 2015, Mr Lee was moved to University Cultural Centre at the National University of Singapore for a final memorial service, and then cremated in a private ceremony at Mandai Crematorium. © Evan Hwong Photographs

[ back to top | documentary gallery ]