Where RED meets WHITE – Tribute to Mr Lee Kuan Yew
RED and WHITE are the main colours of our Singapore flag.But also at the same time, these colours represent two events to the Chinese – RED events being joyous occasions like wedding; WHITE events being sorrowful ones like funerals. Hence when you host a wedding, it will be bad luck if somebody is hosting a funeral nearby. Also, it would be considered as inauspicious if you attend a funeral before a wedding, especially when both events happen almost together.
My wedding is in April whereas our nation’s founding father and first Prime Minister – Mr Lee Kuan Yew departed on 23 March 2015. Hence to those Chinese who are “pantang” (superstitious in Malay) especially the elderly, attending Mr Lee’s funeral would be highly discouraged.
After watching the documentary being broadcasted on our TV, I was touched and moved to join the long queue to pay my final tributes to Mr Lee Kuan Yew since I would be on a day’s leave to purchase flowers for my church wedding at the florist’s.
Morning at Far East Floral
Sweetie Muffin drove both Sis. Irene Chua and myself to Far East Floral to select flowers to decorate the church hall for our Holy Matrimony on 12 April.
It is like the first time of my life selecting flowers for my own wedding! BTW, I decided to go simple and my theme would be sweet pastel colours for my wedding. Hence below are a few types of flowers we have selected 😀
Although the flowers are not imported and expensive, they are good enough for my wedding as I do not see the need to buy expensive flowers for that one special day and then dispose them afterwards. After all, fresh flowers are perishable goods imo.
Arrival @ Padang to pay tributes to Mr Lee Kuan Yew
Skies were tinted in hues of gloomy grey
ᴾᴬᵀᴵᴱᴺᶜᴱ ᴵˢ ᵛᴵᴿᵀᵁᴱ ᴛʜᴇ ǫᴜᴇᴜᴇ ᴀᴛ 1ᴘᴍ, ᴘᴀᴅᴀɴɢ. ᴛᴏ ʙɪᴅ ᴏᴜʀ ʟᴀsᴛ ғᴀʀᴡᴇʟʟs ᴛᴏ ᴛʜᴇ ᴍᴀɴ ᴡʜᴏ ᴅᴇᴅɪᴄᴀᴛᴇᴅ ʜɪs ʟɪғᴇᴛɪᴍᴇ ᴛᴏ ʙᴜɪʟᴅ ᴏᴜʀ ʜᴏᴍᴇʟᴀɴᴅ.. ɪ ᴘᴇʀsᴏɴᴀʟʟʏ ᴛʜɪɴᴋ ᴛʜᴀᴛ ᴛʜɪs ǫᴜᴇᴜᴇ ɪs ɴᴏᴛʜɪɴɢ ᴡʜᴇɴ ᴄᴏᴍᴘᴀʀᴇᴅ ᴛᴏ ᴡʜᴀᴛ ʜᴇ ʜᴀs ᴅᴏɴᴇ ғᴏʀ ᴜs. ᴡᴇ sᴛᴀɴᴅ ᴀs ᴀ ɴᴀᴛɪᴏɴ – sᴛʀᴏɴɢ & ғʀᴇᴇ, ᴇᴅᴜᴄᴀᴛᴇᴅ & ᴡɪᴛʜ ᴀ ʀᴏᴏғ ᴏᴠᴇʀ ᴏᴜʀ ʜᴇᴀᴅs. ᴡʜᴀᴛ ᴇʟsᴇ ᴍᴏʀᴇ ᴄᴀɴ ᴡᴇ ᴀsᴋ ғᴏʀ? ᴇᴠᴇɴ ᴛʜᴇ sᴋɪᴇs ᴡᴇʀᴇ ɪɴ ᴍᴏᴜʀɴɪɴɢ ʜᴜᴇs ᴏғ ɢʀᴇʏ.. ɪ ʜᴀᴅ ᴛᴏ ᴀᴅᴅ ʙɪʀᴅs ɪɴ ᴏʀᴅᴇʀ ᴛᴏ ʟɪᴠᴇɴ ᴜᴘ ᴛʜɪs ᴘɪᴄ! #AldoraMuses #RIPLKY #RememberingLKY #ThankYouLKY #putbirdsonmypic
Hence I would like to write up this post to share with you some tips if you decide to queue during daytime to pay your last tributes to our founding father for the remaining 2 days. I am not trying to brag or market myself in this blog because I am not making a single cent out of this.. I just wanted to share some tips with you so that you will find the queuing process more ‘bearable’?
Tip #1: Go during the WEE Hours
To avoid the crowd (quite unavoidable), try visiting during the wee hours of the night i.e. 12am onwards. Sweetie Muffin visited at 1am and the queuing time was only 1.5hours!!
|The Parliament House at Night|
Credits: Sweetie Muffin
However, if you badly need to sleep or have a strict curfew like myself, then this option is practically out for you!
Tip #2: Empty Your Stomach / Bladders
|Mobile Lavatory at Padang|
If you do not want to leave the queue halfway, please do visit the tandas (toilet in Malay) before joining the queue. This reduces the probability that you have to risk giving up the queue halfway to visit the toilet.
If it is too unbearable for you (if you are queuing for over 8 hours), then please do visit the mobile cubicles set up to alleviate your torture :p
Tip #3: Stay Hydrated
|The Spirulina Whole Fruit Smoothie which quenched my thirst|
Bring at least 1 litre of water with you in order not to collapse from dehydration. Water really saves lives and hence potable drinking water has been one of the greatest concerns Mr Lee Kuan Yew had when developing Singapore.
I am a couch potato, hence I will melt under the sweltering heat and I need to have my ‘joy juice’ in order to motivate myself to keep calm and soldier on!
|Volunteers distributing water to the public in the queue|
Tip #4: Bring an Umbrella / Fan
Umbrellas would be provided by the organisers at the beginning of the queue and they have to be returned at the end.
Bring an Umbrella!!
I would still recommend that you bring your own umbrellas in case it rains and you would be drenched after you returned your umbrellas at the Parliament House?
Tip #5: Bring a Portable Chair / Picnic Mat
I regretted not doing that because my legs gave way after standing for 1 odd hour under the sun and I simply sat on the grass and soiled my white dress in the process.
Oh yes, do not be too embarrassed to sit / squat down if need be. My head started spinning after standing too long under the sun. I raised my eyes and saw a group of Dunman Secondary School students sitting down with the legs folded at one corner and hence was wondering if they can sit, why can’t I? It seems that the adults are losing their childhood memories of sitting down in that manner whilst attending school assemblies… Or, were they too embarrassed to sit down?
Oh yeah, I think I was like the only child looking adult who joined the students to sit down under my brolly. Anyway as the wise sayings go: “休息是为了走更长远的路” (Resting is necessary in order to walk a longer distance) 😀
Heck it, unglam? Nobody cares, as long as you feel comfortable and can maintain your consciousness till you reach your destination. That is what I call PRAGMATISM.
Tip #6: Stay Sheltered
|How I wish I can bring along a shelter like this wherever I go…|
Not all pathways are sheltered – only alternate rows in the ‘snake’ like queue.
If you will melt under the hot sun like myself, then try to squeeze into the shelter whenever you have chance, if not camp under your brolly at all times!
Tip #7: Appreciation
The queue will progress faster once you exit the padang. This is where you will get to admire the scenery and start to remember what Mr Lee Kuan Yew has done for us to build a successful Singapore from swamps.
Remember to LOOK UP although you are feeling DOWN over the loss of a great leader.
Look at the surroundings and the beautiful architecture. These would not have been possible without our collective efforts and Mr Lee’s sound leadership!
Once you learnt to appreciate, you will be less self-entitled and will not complain about the long queue.
C’mmon, if you can queue for iPhones and Hello Kitty dolls, what is this queue when compared to them? It will be the MOST meaningful queue that will be etched into your memories for a lifetime! This will form part of our Singapore Story and perhaps appear in our history books for future generations to remember.
Tip #8: Self-Appreciation
Once you are nearing the Parliament House, you will see this signboard below.
Give yourselves a pat on the shoulder – you have made it (but not quite).
|So near yet so far!|
The path now will be lined up with orchids and with TV screening Mr. Lee’s speeches.
Take some time to smell the pleasant aroma from the flowers and ponder…
Tip #9: Grab the Condolence Card + Pen
The condolence cards and pens would be distributed to you once you near the Parliament House.
The queue will start to progress very quickly.
Remember Tip #7 earlier? It is actually a very good time for you to THINK HARD what to write on the condolence cards!
I was out of my mind as I was melting from the heat and hence was confused on what to write on the empty card provided to me earlier. There were just too many things I wanted to write about Mr. Lee but my mind kind of blanked out after 3 hours under the sun 🙁
Hence that was what I actually wrote:
|Haven’t hand-written anything of a long long time..|
OK lah, can still pass right?
Tip #10: Sorrow is CONTAGIOUS
|Arrival @ Parliament House|
Scenes of Mr. Lee’s speeches started to play at the back of my mind when I saw his coffin positioned in the middle of the hall with the vigil guards surrounding it.
As the other visitors gave their bow and started to sob and blow their nose into their hankies..
I lost it.
Tears welled up in my eyes as I started to get emotional despite that it was only about half a minute’s stay in the air-conditioned hall. That 30 seconds have became so precious to us considering that we actually spent 3 odd hours to exchange for it! It was time well spent as we finally reached our destination and am slightly closer to our founding father who has spent his entire lifetime to build our homeland. I am truly proud to be a Singaporean and fly around the world with my little red passport.
Perhaps Singapore would still be a swampy island without LKY’s “lee-gacy”. He might have ruled the nation with an iron hand, but that brought peace and security to our sunny island right?
If it is not for LKY, we would never have received education and have stable jobs. Yeah, and that precious education has also produced super self-entiled freaks and trolls on the internet criticising Mr Lee at the same time 🙁
Also, to the other super xia sueh Singaporeans out there who tried to capitalise on Mr Lee’s passing and make a profit out of it… Mr Lee was an opportunist but he is also a humane man who valued relations.
Hence, please do be very ashamed of yourselves by selling “limited edition” newspapers with Mr Lee’s photo as coverage on it in eBay to make a profit out of it.
Also to those who start betting on 4Ds / lottery with his death date / time whatever.. Making money out of a dead man is just so unethical. I hope your descendants will not do the same to you after you are like gone (good riddance HA).
To every bad, there will still be good. Kudos to the volunteers who willingly joined us in the queue to distribute rations of food, drinks and sweets (I saw Delifrance’s pastries being distributed). Compared to buying a SGD2 “Lee” bun, these kind deeds are indeed more endearing especially when they actually bothered to 雪中送炭 (providing help in times of need).
Lastly, I am proud of myself. Really proud.
I survived the heat and did not faint under the sun. I queued out of my own will and not because my mother told me to do so. I travelled all the way by myself and kept myself alive and entertained throughout the queue although I was a little lonely by myself.
Hence with dishevelled hair and dress soaked in my perspiration, I declare myself as an independent adult for now! Muahahaha!
So please pardon my lack of updates during this period.
I will be up and kicking again I promise!
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