Committee set up to explore ideas on Founders’ Memorial
SINGAPORE — A steering committee in charge of developing the concept of the Founders’ Memorial, which will honour Singapore’s founding generation of leaders, met for the first time today (June 30).
Over the next 18 months, the 15-member team will reach out to Singaporeans across all communities for their views on what the memorial should be like, through focus group discussions and online feedback.
The committee’s first step will be to conduct in-depth focus group research, to help design questions on the memorial for the public.
A website that will allow Singaporeans to provide their views directly to the committee will also be established within the next few months.
The memorial was first announced by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on April 13, in a Parliamentary Statement in response to questions filed by Members of Parliament on commemorative initiatives for the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting today, committee chairman Lee Tzu Yang, chairman of The Esplanade, said: “(The memorial is) not about coming up with a defined view of history, but about stimulating interest in how we became an independent nation, and the ideals and values ... of our founding generation of leaders.
“I think the use of people and, of course, Mr Lee Kuan Yew, is a central figure, but the people are exemplars of how these ideals and values shaped us as a nation,” he added.
The Prime Minister had said the late Mr Lee had always been conscious of the fact that it was a team effort that contributed to Singapore’s success. His core team included Dr Goh Keng Swee, Mr S Rajaratnam, Mr Hon Sui Sen, Mr Lim Kim San — all of whom have passed away — and Mr Othman Wok, 90.
PM Lee had also emphasised that the memorial must belong to all Singaporeans and hold a special significance for them.
While the committee is still at the beginning stages of conceptualisation, Mr Lee Tzu Yang said that the memorial is meant to “unify Singaporeans”, not just in the present day, but also “for future generations to inspire them with stories of how the nation came to be”.
On the memorial’s concept, Mr Lee added that the committee will also debate details like whether it should be indoors, outdoors or a combination of both; how accessible it will be to the public; and whether it should incorporate an educational aspect, such as arranging link-ups with museums.