When Parliament House was thrown open to the public at 10am today to give Singaporeans an opportunity to pay their last respects to Singapore’s founding father Lee Kuan Yew, who passed away on March 23, the Government perhaps did not anticipate serpentine, endless queues stretching to several miles.
The original intent was to allow this only from 10am till 8pm daily until Saturday, March 28. But seeing a grateful nation massively pouring in there to take a bow and salute the departed leader, the government decided to keep the Parliament House open all 24 hours till 8pm on Saturday.
The body of Lee Kuan Yew was earlier this morning moved from the Istana to the Parliament House through a ceremonial foot procession that was telecast live.
Final Glimpse That Wasn’t There: I went to the Parliament House around 3.30pm today for a final glimpse before the final journey of the leader this Sunday for cremation, completely unprepared for the queues that seemed to snake through lane after lane from the Hong Lim Park, which was one of the two starting points (the other being the Padang).
I moved from one end to another and it was difficult to gauge where the queues start.
Security guards advised people not to join the queue then as it would take no less than eight hours before they can get into Parliament. That could be quite daunting amid the sweltering heat and the need to be on foot all through.
Vision and Mission: So I took the advice and returned home, hoping to make another attempt tomorrow or the day after. What today’s experience highlighted to me was that those with vision went there early in the morning and completed their mission in an hour or two.
Those who lacked it, like me, failed to see what lay ahead, went there late and ended up facing disappointment!
Here are some photos I took while I went around the area to see which of the entry points I can start at.
My earlier posts on Singapore’s founding PM
- Nation in Grief, But Life and Business Normal – https://joslinv.wordpress.com/2015/03/24/nation-in-grief-but-life-and-business-normal/
- Lee Kuan Yew and Indira Gandhi – https://joslinv.wordpress.com/2015/03/23/lee-kuan-yew-and-indira-gandhi/
- Singapore in Grief at Passing of Lee Kuan Yew – https://joslinv.wordpress.com/2015/03/23/lee-kuan-yew-the-man-who-made-the-country-an-economic-powerhouse/
G Joslin Vethakumar