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Thousands pay tribute to the founding father Lee Kuan Yew on Singapore’s streets

Singaporeans will be able to pay their last respects to the founding premier round the clock till Saturday.

Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore founder, Tribute Members of the public take pictures and shout “Thank you, Mr Lee!” as the coffin of Singapore’s founding father Lee Kuan Yew leaves Istana, or Presidential Palace on a ceremonial gun carriage to lie in state at parliament, Wednesday, March 25, 2015 in Singapore. (Source: AP photo)

Thousands of people chanting “We love you, Lee Kuan Yew!” lined Singapore’s streets on Wednesday to pay tribute to the country’s founding father, whose casket was taken to Parliament House for public viewing.

The coffin, wrapped in the Singaporean flag, was taken in a slow motorcade on a gun carriage as people wept on the streets, mourning the loss of the 91-year-old patriarch who passed away on Monday.

People in large numbers lined the route from the Istana government complex, Lee’s workplace for decades as prime minister and cabinet advisor, to the Parliament House and chanted the name of modern Singapore’s first premier.

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An open-topped military truck pulled the gun carriage carrying the dark brown wooden coffin in a glass case as shouts of “We love you!” and “Lee Kuan Yew!” filled the air.

“Auld Lang Syne” played on bagpipes as the hour-long procession started from the Istana.

Singaporeans will be able to pay their last respects to the founding premier round the clock till Saturday.

The funeral is on Sunday and Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Australian premier Tony Abbott will be among Southeast Asian heads of state present.

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“Due to overwhelming response from members of the public, the lying in state at Parliament House will be open 24 hours daily from today until 28 Mar 2015, 8pm,” according to latest information on the Remembering Lee Kuan Yew website.

Condolence cards will also be available for them to pen their tributes. Those with flowers can also lay them at the condolence boards, it said.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who is also Lee’s eldest son and Singapore’s third Premier, has declared a period of national mourning from March 23 to 29 as Singapore plunged into mourning following the death.

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Lee was a respected global leader for having directed Singapore’s development during 30 years as Prime Minister and later as a senior minister as well as mentor minister.

Singapore’s economic success and infrastructure development is attributed to Lee’s government policies, which at times were hard but yielded the most out of an island city-state with no natural resources.

First published on: 25-03-2015 at 05:18:28 pm
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