The body of Singapore’s late statesman Lee Kuan Yew has been transferred for lying in state at Parliament House.
Thousands of people are queuing to pay tribute to the father of the city-state.
Lee Kuan Yew’s body was moved by gun carriage on Wednesday morning from his official residence and through the city.
He died in hospital on March 23 at the age of 91.
Lee Kuan Yew led the city-state to independence and served as its prime minister for 31 years.
Singapore is observing a week of mourning ahead of Sunday’s funeral.
Lee Kuan Yew’s body has been resting at the Istana – the compound which houses the president’s official residence and the prime minister’s office – for a private family mourning period. Thousands have already left flowers and message at its gates and signed books of condolence.
His flag-draped coffin, accompanied by representatives of the military and government, was then carried from the Istana through the main shopping and business districts, before arriving at Parliament House.
Many organizations and businesses are giving employees time off to pay their respects. By midday, huge queues had formed in the area around parliament. The first in line had begun queuing the night before.
Visiting hours have been extended until midnight in response to the turnout.
On Tuesday, Singapore’s current prime minster, Lee Kuan Yew’s son Lee Hsien Loong, thanked all who had paid tribute, via his Facebook page.
He also announced that a new orchid – Singapore’s national flower – had been named after his father. The orchid, named Aranda Lee Kuan Yew, is on display at Parliament House.
Lee Kuan Yew – widely known as LKY – oversaw Singapore’s independence from Britain and separation from Malaysia and co-founded the People’s Action Party (PAP), which has governed Singapore since 1959.
He was the architect of Singapore’s transformation from a dependent, port city to a stable, prosperous independent state and a global financial hub.
However, he also introduced tight control. One of his legacies was a clampdown on the press – tight restrictions that remain in place today – while measures such as corporal punishment have been criticized as repressive.
Today, PAP remains firmly in control. There are currently six opposition lawmakers in parliament.
Lee Kuan Yew was widely admired by world leaders, but criticized what he saw as the overly liberal approach of the US and the West.
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