This Week in Interior Design: 23 March 2015

The latest, most happening, and up-to-date news in interior design, art, architecture, real estate, and everything in between

Updated on June 06, 2017 19:06 pm

Camille Besinga


National Day of Mourning Declared for the Passing of Singapore’s Founding Father

Source: AP

Source: Jerry She/AFP/Getty Images

Source: Joan Williams/REX

Source: Stringer/AFP/Getty Images

Widely recognized as the “Architect of Modern Singapore”, or more fondly, its Founding Father, Lee Kuan Yew passed away on 23 March, Monday morning. He was 91 years old.

Lee Hsien Loong, the current prime minister and eldest son of Lee Kuan Yew, said in a statement, “Mr. Lee passed away peacefully at the Singapore General Hospital at 3:18 a.m.” He added that Lee will lie in state from 25-28 March at Parliament House in order for the public to pay their respects. The state funeral will be held on 29 March. The prime minister has also declared 23-29 March as the period for national mourning, wherein state flags on all government buildings will fly at half mast. 

Leaders from various countries have expressed their condolences, including US president Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron, among others.

Lee led the People’s Action Party to victory in 1959, and the PAP has led Singapore ever since. He is known for his strong convictions, for practically leading the small city-state with no natural resources into a veritable “tiger” nation, one of the most important economic centres in the region, and the world. Lee served as Prime Minister until 1990, from which he was appointed Senior Minister, and then later on as Minister Mentor. He eventually announced retirement from cabinet in 2011, but is considered one of history’s longest-serving ministers.

Remembering Lee Kuan Yew's Legacy: Singapore's HDB


Among Lee Kuan Yew's many projects that helped build Singapore into a global force today, the HDB is one of his most important and enduring legacies. Formed in 1960, the Housing Development Board oversaw the development of public housing in Singapore. 

Home to over 80 percent of Singapore's population, with 90 percent of the resident households owning their HDB flats, it is considered one of Singapore's crowning jewels, and has won numerous awards in the international community.

But before his passing, Lee Kuan Yew knew that the HDB faced many more challenges ahead, saying in a 2011 speech, "We have met our people’s basic needs, we have to meet the rising aspirations of Singaporeans." 

In the same speech, delivered at the launch of Tanjong Pagar Town Council's 5-year masterplan and opening of ABC Waters, the then Minister Mentor also delivered the following: "We wanted Singapore to be a home-owning society. By the 1980s, we had housed 85 percent of the population. It is a short time. If we had not helped our citizens to own their homes, Singapore would be very different. Society would not be so stable. Our lives would have been worse off....Singaporeans take great pride in their homes. Thus, it is crucial to prevent our estates from becoming urban slums. Singaporeans know that their HDB flats are valuable. As Singapore prospers, the value of their HDB homes also appreciate. Home ownership motivates Singaporeans to work hard and to aspire for a better future for their family."

Cover photo courtesy of The Guardian (Stringer/Reuters)


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