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Singapore gathers to honour founding Prime Minister

A memorial service has been held for Mr Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore’s Founding Prime Minister. He was 91.

A number of associations were present, including the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCCI), Association of Muslim Professionals (AMP), Singapore Indian Association (SINDA), Eurasian Association, Singapore Federation of Chinese Clan Associations (SFCCA), Chinese Development Assistance Council (CDAC) and Business China.

Tens of thousands lined the streets in torrential rain to watch the funeral procession carrying Mr Lee’s coffin and approximately 1.5m people, a fifth of the country’s population, paid tribute to the Founding Prime Minister at sites around the country. 

In his eulogy, Mr Lee’s son, current Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, said his father had “lived and breathed Singapore all his life.”

“The light that has guided us all these years has been extinguished,” Mr Loong said.

Foreign leaders also attended the service, including former US President Bill Clinton, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Indonesian President Joko Widodo, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott and UK House of Commons leader William Hague. 

After nine eulogies from other leading figures, sirens sounded across the city to mark the beginning and end of minute’s silence. Singaporeans were then asked to recite the national pledge of allegiance and join in singing the national anthem. 

In 2010, Mr Yew commented on his 31 years as Prime Minister, remarking, “I’m not saying that everything I did was right, but everything I did was for an honourable purpose.”

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