I waited with the crowds outside a fancy dress shop on Kampong Bahru Road for the funeral cortege to pass by. The rain fell. Families and friends waited together. Everyone was good natured despite the weather. This was history. Passing by. Goodbye Lee Kuan Yew. Goodbye.
Lee Kuan Yew
On a clear, golden evening on 27 March 2015 I stood at the corner of Parliament Place and Supreme Court Lane where I took pictures of the elderly, families with young children and those with special needs after they’d paid their respects to Lee Kuan Yew as he lay in State in Parliament House.
Here are some of the images I took.
Goodbye Lee Kuan Yew. Yesterday afternoon, I signed the condolence book at Tanjong Pagar Community Centre.
The sticker on a locked exit read: 'What future do Singaporeans want?' This is not a new question. One man, Lee Kuan Yew, dominated that question for a long time and although, several years ago, he faded from direct political involvement, his influence remained. His son the Prime Minister has said that Singapore is at an inflexion point. The question remains and deeper uncertainties prevail.
Several decades ago, he said 'Poetry is a luxury we cannot afford.' That was then when he desired to control the narrative and focus the nation on execution of his agenda rather than imagine other choices. The hope is that now people realise times are different and a just, tolerant, progressive future can be built on the foundation he established.
“Have patience with everything that remains unsolved in your heart. Try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms, or books written in a foreign language. Do not now look for the answers. They cannot now be given to you, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.”
Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet
For the perspective of a Singaporean journalist, here is Bertha Henson on LKY.
And here are details of LKY's run in with the CIA & his rejection of their $3.3m bribe.
At around 6pm on 18 March 2015, attracted by the prospect of history and an Official Announcement, both of which which never arrived, I waited with a congregation of journalists, cameramen, onlookers, patients, visitors and health workers in front of the lifts and security gates in Block 1 of Singapore General Hospital. I left at around 940pm. These are the images I took.
"All I have is a voice
To undo the folded lie,
The romantic lie in the brain
Of the sensual man-in-the-street
And the lie of Authority
Whose buildings grope the sky:
There is no such thing as the State
And no one exists alone;
Hunger allows no choice
To the citizen or the police;
We must love one another or die.
Defenseless under the night
Our world in stupor lies;
Yet, dotted everywhere,
Ironic points of light
Flash out wherever the Just
Exchange their messages:
May I, composed like them
Of Eros and of dust,
Beleaguered by the same
Negation and despair,
Show an affirming flame."