Close  

Singapore urges restraint as Lee mourners queue for 10 hours

/ 02:49 PM March 27, 2015
Tents are set up to provide shade for members of the public, as they stand in line to pay their respects for the late Lee Kuan Yew at Singapore's Parliament House. Lee, 91, died Monday after more than a month of battling severe pneumonia. AP Photo

Tents are set up to provide shade for members of the public, as they stand in line to pay their respects for the late Lee Kuan Yew at Singapore’s Parliament House. Lee, 91, died Monday after more than a month of battling severe pneumonia. AP Photo

SINGAPORE — Singaporeans hoping for a glimpse of long-time leader Lee Kuan Yew’s coffin are being urged to stay away from the sprawling queue as waiting times reach 10 hours.

The government said Friday that it “strongly advises” the public not to join the queue and to instead visit community tribute sites set up across the island.

ADVERTISEMENT

Lee’s death at age 91 on Monday has been met with an outpouring of grief in Singapore. Lee was Singapore’s prime minister for 31 years, ruling with an iron grip until 1990 and is regarded by Singaporeans as the architect of the country’s economic success.

As of late morning Friday, some 230,000 people had viewed Lee’s coffin at Parliament House, the government said. The queue of several kilometers starts at the Padang, an open field in Singapore’s downtown, crosses a park and snakes along the Singapore River to Parliament House.

Dozens of tents have been erected in the Padang to shelter mourners from the tropical sun and government workers handed out water to people in the long lines.

“I’m not afraid to wait,” said 44-year-old Idy Leong. “Even waiting for 8 hours, I’ll still want to wait. Ten hours, I’ll also want to wait,” she said.

Though credited with building the foundations of Singapore’s current prosperity, Lee’s legacy also includes a muzzled press, restrictions on free speech and a stunted democracy.

A slew of foreign leaders and dignitaries are expected at Lee’s funeral on Sunday including Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and former President Bill Clinton.

The cortege will take a 15-kilometre journey around key landmarks in the city before reaching the National University of Singapore for the funeral service. AU

ADVERTISEMENT
Read Next
LATEST STORIES
MOST READ
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.
View comments

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore, world
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.
newsinfo

Orange rainfall warning raised in Zambales

September 16, 2019 10:18 PM

sports

Judo champion who defied Iran’s rules now in hiding

September 16, 2019 09:37 PM



© Copyright 1997-2019 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.