Singapore urges restraint as Lee mourners queue for 10 hours

2015-03-27 10:04

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

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 on Friday that it "strongly advises" the public not to join the queue and to instead visit community tribute sites set up across the island.

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 Thursday evening, nearly 150 000 people had viewed Lee's coffin at Parliament House. The queue of several kilometres 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 15km journey around key landmarks in the city before reaching the National University of Singapore for the funeral service.

Read more on:    lee kuan yew  |  singapore

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.