Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Safe Journey to Eternity - Mr Lee Kuan Yew's final journey

I recall the time when the late President Sheares who died in office on May 12, 1981. President Sheares was buried in Kranji State Cemetery on May 15, 1981 after lying in state at the Istana for 2 days for the public to pay their respects that I went there. It was sad to see the two most prominent men who left in this earth that they had shared with their work when they were alive.
The funeral procession of the late President Sheares, I saw soldiers lining at Selegie Road with their rifles lowered in salute as the gun carriage glided past , bearing the Singapore flag-draped coffin. The funeral procession attracted large crowds of people along the procession route to get a glimpse of the gun carriage and to say the last farewell to the Nation’s President Sheares.
State Funeral at Commonwealth Ave West
And this time, on the 29th March 2015, it was such a huge crowds of people of more than 10,000, young or old alike, stood along the road from Parliament House to University Cultural Centre (UCC) and it was heavily downpours in the morning as if Heaven was crying for him after seeing people drenched and stood lining along the road that had touched the heaven.
Mourners stood drenched on the road
A large crowds of mourners stood along the stretch of the road in between lining up holding with umbrella and wore poncho in the streets and some of them find shelters under the train platform. My mum went to Commonwealth Mrt to bid goodbye to the Late Lee Kuan Yew where she lives nearby and I was further away from C'wealth Mrt as it was too crowded to look for her.
Policeman tight up the rope at Traffic light
I saw the policeman tight up the rope to prevent the crowds to cross the traffic light when the state funeral procession passed by at 1.30pm. The late Lee Kuan Yew's cortege will wind its way pass significant national landmarks - City Hall, NTUC Centre, the Singapore Conference Hall and Marina Barrage, will go through Queenstown, Singapore's oldest housing estate, and through Clementi for the funeral service at the University Cultural Centre (UCC).
State Funeral Procession - Lky's Cortege
At about 1.30pm, I saw oncoming vehicles and I managed to see the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew's cortege passed by just in front of me. Mourners kept saying aloud chanting "Lee Kuan Yew! Lee Kuan Yew!" as it roared loudly along the road and deeply sadness to see our founding father of the Nation.
Petrol station set up the board Banner
I was about to go to other place and it was still time and happened to walk pass this petrol station, behind it, is the Hakka cemetery where my block is hidden from view. The Petrol Station set up the huge banner board in bid to Farewell our founding father of the Nation.
State Funeral passed from NCC at 5pm
State Funeral passed to junction of Queensway
That's not enough for the public to see him again and yet there's still extra time slot at 4pm to 6pm from UCC to Mandai Crematorium at the same place but the opposite road at Commonwealth Ave West, junction to Queensway road. And this time, with my hubby, me, my mum and her three old neighbours at Queensway road which is nearer to her place just 3 mins walk opposite the road nearby her place at Blk 97 Commonwealth Drive bus-stop close to the "T" junction.
Junction of Queensway
Blk 97 C'wealth Dr - bus-stop
After 3 hours passed, I noticed that not all people know that there was another timeslot - 4pm to 6pm for State Funeral procession will pass through from University Cultural Centre to Mandai Crematorium. It was still early, as we arrived around 5pm at the bus-stop to where the State funeral will pass its way to Sembawang road where the Nee Soon camp is and then to Mandai.
At the overhead bridge at 5.21pm
At the overhead bridge was not crowded at the time and the bus-stop where we sat on the bench was crowded but not much as most people were watching TV at home about the State funeral procession at the same time, didn't know much about this. I would believe there will be repeat telecast and if not, to 'set' record on it would be much better and I did it.
Lky's Cortege passed its way at 5.21pm
Too much emotional and sadness to see the cortège on its way to Mandai and yet the public including my mum and her old neighbours chanting out loud "Lee Kuan Yew! Lee Kuan Yew!". Deep in my heart, I held with my sadness, unsteady pose, to snap a shot of Lee Kuan Yew's cortège with my shaking hands, full of emotional around people who were crying his name out loud.
Casket passed through Queensway at 5.24pm
The funeral procession made its way from UCC to Mandai Crematorium; it started from Clementi Road, Commonwealth Ave West, Commonwealth Ave, Queensway, Farrer Road, Adam Road, Lornie Road, Upper Thomson Road, Sembawang Road, Mandai Avenue.
After the Casket passed, people dispersed in minutes and rushed home to watch TV that was recorded from the recorder.
In time to come or move on, people will fondly remember Mr Lee Kuan Yew's struggle to build the icon of Singapore from 3rd World to 1st World. The government helped my late parent-in-laws (1920-2006) and oversea Chinese nationals to grant Singapore citizenship in 1957 and 1958 (special written to ministry's office) and my brother-in-law (b.1944 Johor as state of Malaya) to grant citizenship in 1963 on written letter from my father-in-law to bring his eldest son back to Singapore. Without Mr Lee Kuan Yew, there will be no one to help out the poor citizens' sufferings and lived hard life. Back then, we lived from remote "ragged" home to a new housing in 1950s onwards otherwise we would lived on the "dirty" muddy or swampy that close to home forever without improvement. 
His spirit and legacy, his wonderful foresight, will always be remembered and respected as a great leader. 
Farewell Mr Lee Kuan Yew on your safe journey to Eternity.

Friday, 27 March 2015

Remembering Mr Lee Kuan Yew

That day, that was in 2013, I saw him afar from the road that was the day of tree planting at Holland Village park. It was a huge crowded at that time, I knew instantly what day it was until I saw him! It was a planting tree to mark 50 years of Greening Singapore.
Holland Village Park was chosen as the tree planting site because it was close to Farrer Circus and because its close proximity to the site where Mr Lee planted the first tree. Holland Village Park is a new park developed to give Singaporeans a green space to use and enjoy surrounding at Holland Village area. Sadly, Mr Lee Kuan Yew was unable to foresee the new developments of Holland Village in the next few years as he passed on 23rd March 2015. I heard that it will be extended to new public spaces and developments. A Popular for its eateries and cafes, It is stated that Holland Village will have a new extension that will retain its “urban village” feel and pedestrian links to connect the streets to the town centre.
Mr Lee Kuan Yew's Rain Tree
Mourning Flowers lying on the grass beside the marker
In the last few days before 26th March 2015, I planned to make a visit to the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew at Parliament House, I was then sent a message to my Nostalgic friends through facebook after I saw one of my Nostalgic friends who intended to visit on that day that we were supposed to pay respect to Mr Lee Kuan Yew whose body lying in state at Parliament House. Only left of us - my friend and I as they have either joined with communities members or church members.
It was not the first time, I went to pay my respect to the prominent and high respectable man whose body was lain in state at the Istana which was opened for public for two days.was non other than the late President B. H. Sheares who passed on in 1981, with more than 85,000 people turned up to pay their respects  The late Mr Lee Kuan Yew stated about him that Mr Sheares was a “good man who put his ability in the service of his fellow men".
On the 26th Mar 15, my friend and I went to pay our respects to our founding father of the Nation, Mr Lee Kuan Yew whom I respected most at Parliament House in early 'hot' afternoon. I arrived at City Hall at 1.30pm to meet my friend, Hercules who was waiting for me. After I arrived and we walked along St. Andrew Church and across the road where we met security officers who happened to safeguard the traffic flows and ushered us to the direction where the queue was. We reached the point and started the queue at 1.45pm. And it took us less than 2.5 hours to reach the Parliament House.
Six SAF men hold up the tents
While waiting for your turns, we saw six SAF men carried the tent, was for the public shelter away from the sun as it was terrifying heat weather. We had a free drinking bottles given by the kind volunteers from other organisations or sponsored company and also a "free" lending umbrellas too.
Minister for Transport Lui Tuck Yew
Upon reaching near the Parliament House, we saw Minister for Transport Mr Lui Tuck Yew passing by and was in front of us. Mr Lui asked us "How we came from?", my friend said we came by MRT and a short distance to the Padang and he smiled.
A card for Lee H L
Before we reached the Parliament's door where the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew's body lying in state, we saw Minister Wong Kan Seng and he shake hands with me after he walked in front of me. He is a quiet guy and not talk much. I told my friend that I brought a card for PM Lee H L and I was wondered whether is it proper for me to write and drew a picture of Mr Lee KY in remembrance and wrote condolences words to PM Lee HL as I put my heart and soul to the card no matter what I was written down. On reaching near the door, I saw a table that was for mourning flowers and I noticed the cards also on the table so I put my card on top of other cards as it was not allowed to bring into the hall.
Finally, at 3.05pm, we reached the hall and followed the line-up and we happened to be in front and was able to see the state lying of Lee Kuan Yew clearly. We bowed and bowed to our founding father of the Nation twice as we walked slowly and went outside in just 18 seconds. I held up my sadness after seeing this thus made me wanted to cry. We completed our task at 3.23pm.
After we pay our respects to the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew, we walked to the shopping centre nearby, to have our late tea-break time. We walked pass by the shop that the shop hanged a portrait of the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew outside the glass window and we snapped it as our remembrance.

Thursday, 26 March 2015

In Memoriam Mr Lee Kuan Yew

I was thinking of paying tribute to our beloved founding father of the Nation, Mr Lee Kuan Yew who passed on 23rd Mar 2015 at National Museum of Singapore (NMS) today afternoon before I head off to pay my last respects to the former MMLee tommorrow (26th Mar 2015) with my nostalgic friend.
Heard there will be another location for paying tributes at national libraries, but I chose NMS instead. Upon reaching National Museum of Singapore, there's a signage stood at the entrance that leads to the Glass Atrium at Level 2.
Walking along the hall where there is another a "huge" banner board with a small screen TV that shown with a prominent Lee Kuan Yew in his well posed facing the camera that caught my eyes. The smile and gentle man would describe to many who worked under him as fatherly love to his people and his family. If it's not for his late wife who had put some thoughts to him otherwise he would be a different man.
Above the huge glass pane window, there, a picture of Mr Lee Kuan Yew was hung above.
The memorial exhibition chronicles the life and political career of Singapore’s first Prime Minister and founding father of the Nation Mr Lee Kuan Yew. Looking at the history and the life of Mr Lee Kuan Yew and Singapore, made me feel sad and I am proud of his legacy that he has left behind which is not forgotten.
National Museum set up a 'huge' board with photography of Mr Lee Kuan Yew for visitors to pay
their tributes which opens on the 25th Mar 2015. Eventually, there wasn't mnay visitors at that time because most people went to Parliament House to pay their respects which also opens on the same day after the state lying was moved from Sri Temasek ( a two-storey detached house built in 1869 which is sited within the grounds of the Istana ) to Parliament in early in the morning. VIsitors may leave tribute gifts and flowers at the exhibition.
Photographer snapping mourners
As I was in the midst of the mourners and stood silent and snapped a photographer with his photoshoot facing away from Mr Lee Kuan Yew's tribute board. Normally, not all photographers hates funeral and they need them for a special way. It allow the photographers to say a final goodbye to someone they knew, or wish they'd known. If you've been asked to capture poignant moments at the funeral or tribute for memory's sake, it may seem a challenging request and possibly not one you're too keen to take on. Nevertheless, it can be a good opportunity to do something special for the family that wishes to preserve the final memories of a good life. I did it as I had captured my father-in-law's (1920-2006) funeral in 2006 and too bad I didn't captured my late mother-in-law (1921-1993) in 1993.
Barrister Wig and Container 1949
The late Lee Kuan Yew & his wife Kwa Geok Choo bought their barrister wigs which were made by Ravensroft, an established wig and robe maker in London for admission to the bar.
PAP Leaflet for Legislative Assembly for General Election 1959
This is PAP leaflet for the General Election 1959 and features a write-up of Mr Lee KY as the party's secretary-general and candidate for Tanjong Pagar.
The Battle for Merger - Malay, English, Chinese editions 1961
The late Mr Lee Kuan Yew delivered 12 radio talks in Malay, Mandarin and English, totals 16 broadcasts in all between Sept and Oct 1961.
A Printed Glass master plate
A printed glass master plate used for printed leaflet for 1955 General Election. 
Rolex Oyster Perpetual Watch 1953
Beside this, there's a Rolex Oyster Perpetual watch presented to the late Lee Kuan Yew by the Singapore Union of Postal and Telecommunications Workers. He represented the union in an arbitration over wage dispute.
Condolences Books
Visitors may also write on the books of condolences, their words of sympathy or condolence note can be a great source of comfort to someone who is grieving the loss of a loved one.
I remember of the "Red Box" which belongs to the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew that he used it to carry and store materials about issues that he was working on, hopefully it will be on display at National Museum of Singapore. I hope to make another trip to see his personal "red Box" and posted it here.
The memorial exhibition: Glass Atrium, Level 2, National Museum of Singapore
Date: Wednesday, 25 March to Sunday 26 April 2015. 
Open daily from 10am to 8pm. 
Admission to this exhibition is free for all visitors.

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

My Journey with Foyers - Old Airport Rd/Dakota Crescent

Again, I am  back on my track and this time with friends of Foyers - Lam Chun See and James Seah to meet up at Old Airport Road on the 7th Mar 2015 before catching up with Chun See's UK friends and Victor Koo at 7pm in the evening. Ever since I have been to this place in July last year, that I had blog about this. It has been a long time, I stepped on the unusual, quiet and little creepy place when night falls in 1980s. I remember the old flats at Old Airport road that reminds me of the old runway, parallel to Mountbatten Road, which is now called Old Airport Road. The existing public  housing flats now known as Old Airport or Kallang Airport Estate.
On the fateful year in 1946, one of the Dakota aircraft belonging to the Royal Air Force Police with 20 NCOs on board crashed at the Airport in a storm with no survivors. Dakota Crescent and the Dakota MRT Station are named in commemoration of this disaster.
Blk 99 Old Airport Estate
Old Airport Estates of Blk  93, 95, 97, 99 built by HDB in 1960s are the ownership flats, got MUP in 1992. I believe that they may get SERS around 2017 or later, when the rental blocks will be cleared, the replacement blocks for these 4 blocks will be built here.
The Blocks who received lifts that stop at every floor, does not mean that will be NEVER demolished, but if a upgrading programme took place, the block will be NOT demolished at least 20 years. SERS flat hunters should look for blocks that had no upgrading programmes recently, just like my mum's old blocks had upgrading programmes over times and her neighbourhoods blocks just painted recently.
James Seah at Dakota Crescent
Spotted my friend, James Seah taking pictures of these Dakota estates as if he didn't notice me standing behind him well as least he is spotted on the track with ease. I presume that Block 15 of 17 of SIT blocks will be demolished for an “immediate redevelopment”.
Geylang River with signage
Trash and Debris Collection boat
On 16 March 2014, a heavy downpour had washed litter down the Geylang River behind Dakota Crescent. These litter had collected at a stretch of the riverbank where float booms (shown below) are located.

Float Boom on a Geylang River (Dakota Crescent)
To keep the waterways clean, PUB uses trapping devices such as gratings and floating debris booms to collect litter that flow into the waterways. PUB contractors are deployed daily to clear the litter to prevent it from flowing into the reservoirs.
EtonHouse International School
Opposite of Geylang River, is the Pre-School known as EtonHouse International School built in 1995 to pursuit of excellence and leadership in educational services and practice and celebrates 20 years in March 2015.

Dakota Fluffy Cat
As I was walking along the Dakota estates which near to the Blues Dove sandpit playground, found a cute Fluffy cat with a collar attached to its neck. I presume someone must be taking care of her. So cute as if I am trying to touch her fur as she has lots of fur so soft and silky.
A Joyful Chun See at Dakota Shophouses
A "Joyful" Chun See saw me and waved when I was capturing his photoshot at Dakota Crescent shophouses where one of the three ladies (hidden from view) was doing for video shot not far from where the two ladies were, next to the walking happily Chun See. Chun See was calling out to me about the kitty - a "black" cat that was behind me from where I stood.
Chun See and a "black"Cat
Feeling amused, Chun See loves to take picture of "kitty" whenever he sees it as I thought that most ladies like me loves cats too. And James Seah is no where in sight! Thinking James is busying taking photos of Dakota estates.
Blk 51 Old Airport Foods Centre
Almost 45 mins has passed, we hesitated to walk back as if we haven't completed our mission yet, because we have to meet his "Ang Mo" UK friends for dinner at Old Airport Foods Centre at 7pm. Here we went to Blk 51 Old Airport Market & Food Centre, is one of the oldest, popular and largest food centre in the city, opened in 1973.
James Seah, Victor Koo, Chun See & his "Ang Mo" friends
Finally, after walkabout the Dakota Crescent, we looked around for a empty table to accommodate seven of us including me. I managed to snap a photo-shot of them excluding me, from left - Peter Stubbs, James Seah, Lam Chun See, Victor Koo, John Harper & his wife (from York). We were having a joyful and happy occasion dinner and chatting away for old times sake.
A large bowl of mixed meat porridge
Oh..my..I was served a large bowl of mixed meat porridge by Victor Koo and I am very much appreciated and thanks for his generous and helping to serve all of us for a wonderful meal. It was indeed so delicious and yummy porridge I would recommend for.

Monday, 2 March 2015

A Little Hut of Hindu Shrine & Queens' Crescent

Wondering along the vacant field that hidden away from heavy traffic flows, not many people know there's hidden temple which I was used to wander this vacant field that happened in my younger days where there used to be the site of former Queens' close housing estates (1980s) and a wet market (1960s),  and the old schools - Commonwealth Secondary school (early 1970s) and Henderson Secondary School (1980s) on the same site that demolished many years ago in 1990s and early 2000s. This site of the vacant field which left the structure mark of the 'handrail" bridge that linked to the old school. There used to be a Queens Crescent market opened in 1964 at the 2 semi-circular shaped road named "Queens Crescent" at the main junction of Queensway before it built housing estates in 1980s when I took a driving lessons in early 80s just outside Queensway Shopping centre along the road!
A few years ago, after I visited my friend's Optical shop at Queensway Shopping centre and we walked along the way, my hubby told me about the site of once his former Sec. Sch and housing estates and a market were once there. The site of the secondary integrated school - Tanglin Sec School/Commonwealth Sec School where my hubby attended in 1971 for 2 years and he consequently moved to Queenstown Sec Tech School in 1973 Technical class for woodwork & metalwork. Truth enough, I saw his school report card that it stated from Commonwealth Sec School to Queenstown Sec Tech School. Commonwealth Sec School was known as Tanglin Integrated Vocational Sec School in 1964 and in 1969 it became Tanglin Sec School. In 1972, it changed back to Commonwealth Sec School again where my hubby studied there at Queensway. Commonwealth Sec School has a new campus at West Coast road where one of my cousins live in bungalow nearby after he and his family shifted from Bukit Purmei 3-storey bungalow last year.
Former site of Housing estates, a wet market and the Sec Sch
In the year 2012, as I was walking along the Queensway where I used to stroll since young and grew up in Queenstown more than 5 decades. Reminiscing the place that brings back to the past where there were lots of low-rise housing estates and the old schools in Queenstown/Queensway.
The site of Hindu shrine on the land originally belonged to the Malaysian government at that time, and was used to house workers from railway operator Keretapi Tanah Melayu (KTM). It was returned to the Singapore Government on Jul 1, 2011, after train services were stopped. The Hindu shrine is still exists to this day.
Memories jotted out of my mind and one of my aunties from Tanglin Halt once told me a long time ago, there was once an old Hindu wooden hut little known as "Muniandy temple" and a wooden hindu shrine as "Sri Thandavaalam Shrine" along Queensway that left by some Hindu devotees untouched. The Hindu Temple - Sri Muneeswaran Temple constructed in 1998 to replace the old wooden hut shrine. But still, they (long-time devotees) retain the other old hut of Hindu shrine of over the decades that was built by KTM railway workers that gave them a sense of belonging. 
Wooden Hut (Workers' Quarter) taken in 2012
Long quaint "Wooden" hut aka Workers' Quarter house built on zinc rooftup and wooden tiles that surrounded by huge trees and branches tucked away from heavy traffic flows along the road linked to the former railway track in Queensway. I presume that not many people had known this 'unwelcome' wooden Hut and a Hindu shrine which still stands today. This small temple and quaint wooden hut could be around since 1960s till now. Little did I know this place that passing by many times, I could walk inside the "quaint" wooden hut. 
Long "Quaint" Wooden house taken in 2012
Dilapidated piles of zinc rooftop
Dilapidated piles of zinc and wooden left unattended and  lots of flies buzzing (mosquitoes) around the place. I heard that on weekends a few "long time" devotees will come to pray in the mornings and keep in low profile. Such a poor neglected wooden house with deity facing to the locked with a 'padlock' door of the wooden "dilapidated" house. 
Hindu Deity Shrine
A well-maintained shrine with lots of prayers, covered with scaffolding tent away from sunlight. This is due to the Hindu devotees much care to the shrine. I wonder how long it will be still around and its history to this day. 
Latest breaking news:
Wooden hut and makeshift hut of Hindu Shrine sit illegally at Queensway have to move out by next year Jan 2017. Sources: Channelnewsasia