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President Tharman pays tribute to Lee Kuan Yew, calls for S’poreans to imagine different, better future

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President Tharman pays tribute to Lee Kuan Yew, calls for S’poreans to imagine different, better future

SINGAPORE – President Tharman Shanmugaratnam paid tribute to the vision and legacy of Mr Lee Kuan Yew on Sunday, a day after the 100th anniversary of Mr Lee’s birth.

The founding prime minister of Singapore died in 2015 at the age of 91.

Recalling a quote from Mr Lee, Mr Tharman said in a post on Facebook: “I have never forgotten what he said some 40 years ago – that we must have a sense of reality of what is possible, but cannot merely be realistic.

“You must be able to soar above the reality and say ‘this is also possible’.”

Mr Tharman said he had thought of the quote while touring an exhibition on Mr Lee’s life in Pasir Panjang, titled Now Is Not The Time, on Sunday afternoon.

“Anyone listening to Lee Kuan Yew himself – including a younger generation of Singaporeans who did not grow up watching and listening to him but can watch him on film – can feel the sheer willpower, conviction and imagination that transformed Singapore,” he said.

Singaporeans must feel encouraged to “make a different and better future possible” when looking at several of the exhibits, which use artificial intelligence to recreate the past and imagine a new future, said Mr Tharman.

“We must make possible a deeper form of multiculturalism and a place that uplifts every Singaporean,” he added.

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Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Saturday evening visited the Blair Plain conservation area in Tanjong Pagar, where his father, Mr Lee, had served as MP for almost 60 years.

In a Facebook post, PM Lee said: “Walking around the Blair Plain conservation area brought a wave of nostalgia, as memories of him (Mr Lee) are cherished and celebrated by the community.”

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