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HomesingaporeAs Singapore commemorates LKY100, remember what his generation of leaders stood for:...

As Singapore commemorates LKY100, remember what his generation of leaders stood for: PM Lee

SINGAPORE: Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Sunday (Oct 29) urged Singapore to remember what the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew and his generation stood for, as the country marked his 100th birthday. 

He was speaking at LKY100 The Greening of Singapore commemoration ceremony at Mayflower Shopping and Food Centre, which commemorated Singapore’s founding Prime Minister’s vision of a green and clean Singapore.

“Mr Lee did many things for Singapore, he created a nation, he built up the defence. We have public housing, HDB (Housing Board), we have education, we have healthcare, we have infrastructure, public transport, we have the economy,” said PM Lee.

More than 800 People’s Action Party activists, guests and green activists attended the event, hosted by the People’s Action Party (PAP) Kebun Baru branch and organised by the PAP and PAP Community Foundation branches of Ang Mio Kio Group Representation Constituency (GRC), Kebun Baru Single-member Constituency (SMC) and Yio Chu Kang SMC. 

The event featured a short film about the late Mr Lee’s vision, and interactive booths showcasing the work of green groups. 

The 10-minute mini-documentary, titled “The Greening of Singapore” was created by content creator Big Red Button’s director Wally Tham. It captures Singapore’s green journey, from when the late Mr Lee launched the tree-planting campaign in 1963 in its first step towards the vision of a Garden City, to the pressing climate issues Singapore faces currently. 

The film opens with extreme weather events amid rising temperatures, noting that Singapore’s heat levels are still lower than those in temperate countries used to cooler temperatures – a testament to the late Mr Lee’s foresight and greening efforts. 

Interspersed with interview snippets from PM Lee and Minister for National Development Desmond Lee, the film ends with Singaporeans’ hopes for the future of a green Singapore. 

The late Mr Lee, then also called Singapore’s chief gardener, played an integral role towards beautifying Singapore.

In 1963, Mr Lee as Prime Minister launched the first tree planting campaign with an emphasis on providing shade and greenery. The “Garden City” campaign was mooted in 1967 and four years later, the first Tree Planting Day was introduced.

In a 1995 speech, he said that he “always believed that a blighted urban jungle of concrete destroys the human spirit”.

“We need the greenery of nature to lift up our spirits,” he said during the launch of the National Orchid Garden in the Botanic Gardens. 

The floral map consists of close to 1,000 pots of chrysanthemum arranged in the shape of Singapore. The pots were laid out the night before by activists and volunteers, and will be distributed to residents and volunteers after the event.

PM Lee, together with current and retired PAP MPs, were then invited to place the remaining pots of flowers to complete the floral map, signifying the country’s transformation from a Garden City into a City in Nature.

He also interacted with green activists, where he painted with children and learned about green efforts, such as a workshop by Touch Wood, Ground Up Initiative, which shows residents how to repurpose and recycle wood into useful objects.Another participant of the event was Farmily, a social enterprise that provides fresh organic vegetables, and organises nature workshops and experiences. 

The event also featured a large recycled cardboard display of animals by Mr Bartholomew Ting from Singapore Polytechnic’s FabLab, and his volunteers. The display was supplemented by smaller cardboard mousedeers by artist Didier Ng and his team.

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