State Funeral for Singapore's Founding Prime Minister, Mr Lee Kuan Yew

Today is a day unlike any other for Singapore as we bid farewell to our Founding Prime Minister, Mr Lee Kuan Yew.

The past week has not been a easy one as anguished Singaporeans come to terms with his demise since news of it broke on early Monday (March 23) morning.

Pulled by an open-topped ceremonial land rover, Mr Lee's body was brought to Sri Temasek atop a Gun Carriage for a two-day private wake inside the Istana where President Tony Tan Keng Yam, the Sultan of Brunei and Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka-shing were among the visitors.

On Wednesday (March 25) morning, Mr Lee's casket was once again conveyed by a Gun Carriage to the Parliament House for a public wake where Singaporeans could pay their tributes for the next four days until Sunday (March 29).

Thousands have joined the queue which stretched a few kilometers from the Parliament House but the crowd kept coming still. People were willing to join the queue even though it meant a eight to ten hours wait. The queue to the lie-in-state was eventually cut at 8pm on Saturday (March 28) in preparation for the State Funeral the following day.

And today is the day.

Just before the State Funeral begins, the skies begin to pour.

Singaporeans lining the route outside the Parliament House braved the unusually heavy rain. The weather had been hot and sweltering just days before.

At about 12.30pm, the Coffin Bearer Party, comprising of eight officers from the Army, Navy, Air Force and Police, entered the Parliament House to place the casket bearing Mr Lee's body atop the Gun Carriage.

As the cortege moved out of the Parliament House, the people clapped and chanted his name, thanking him for the legacy he has built and left behind.

The cortege then embarked for the UCC (University Cultural Centre) at the NUS (National University of Singapore) while passing several landmarks associated with Mr Lee's 60-year political career.

The landmarks included Old Parliament House, City Hall, the Padang, NTUC Centre, Singapore Conference Hall and the heartland areas, covering a total distance of 15.4km.

World leaders and dignitaries attending the funeral service were already seated at the UCC waiting for the arrival of the cortege. When it did, 10 moving eulogies were delivered by the people whom the late Mr Lee had worked closely with before. The opening and concluding eulogies were delivered by his sons - Mr Lee Hsien Loong and Mr Lee Hsien Yang respectively.

Australia Prime Minister Tony Abott
Brunei Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah
Bhutan Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck & Queen Jetsun Pema Wangchuck
Cambodia Prime Minister Hun Sen
Canada Governor-General David Johnston
India Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Indonesia President Joko Widodo and Spouse
Israel President Reuven Rivlin
Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe
Kazakhstan Prime Minister Karim Massimov
Lao PDR Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong
Malaysia King Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah
Myanmar President U Thein Sein
New Zealand Governor-General Jerry Mateparae
Phillipines President of the Senate Franklin Drilon
PRC Vice President Li Yuanchao
ROK President Park Geun-hye
Qatar Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani
Russia First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov
Thailand Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha & Spouse
UK First Secretary of State & Leader of the House of Commons William Hague
US Former President Bill Clinton
Former National Security Advisor Tom Donilon
Vietnam Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung

At the conclusion of the funeral service, the late Mr Lee make his final journey to the Mandai Crematorium where he was cremated in a private service for family and friends.

Rest in peace, Sir.

UPDATE: Watch Mr Lee Kuan Yew's State Funeral that was telecast 'live' on TV here (in Mandarin). 

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