Singapore honours Lee Kuan Yew with elaborate state funeral

Thousands of people braved pouring ran as they gathered in Singapore on Sunday to bid farewell to former leader Lee Kuan Yew, who will be given an elaborate funeral ending a week of mourning for the man who led the city-state to independence 50 years ago. Tens of thousands of people are expected to lined 15.4-kilometre route to bid farewell to the authoritarian leader who served as prime minister for 31 years and turned Singapore into a global financial powerhouse. Lee died on Monday aged 91 after seven weeks in hospital for severe pneumonia.

In our lifetime this is probably the only person who will garner this kind of respect from everyone, so I think it’s something that we should do.

Ho Shaw Ming, who waited in line to view the coffin

More than 415,000 people, equivalent to 12 percent of Singapore’s citizens, have filed past his coffin in an overwhelming show of sympathy never seen before in the country. Lee will be given a 21-gun salute, as well as a flypast of four F-16 fighter jets from the Air Force’s aerial display team, the Black Knights. Lee became Singapore’s first prime minister in 1959, when the island gained self-rule from colonial ruler Britain. Singapore became a republic in 1965 after a brief and stormy union with Malaysia. Lee stepped down in 1990 in favour of his deputy Goh Chok Tong, who in turn was succeeded by Lee’s son, the current Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

I am deeply moved by the overwhelming response of people wanting to visit my father’s Lying in State at Parliament House.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong