In Memoriam: Lee Kuan Yew exhibition at the National Museum of Singapore

This memorial exhibition at the National Museum of Singapore chronicles the life and political career of Singapore's first Prime Minister and founding father Lee Kuan Yew. It also highlights the ideals and convictions that shaped Mr Lee and his generation of leaders.

Through a selection of photographic images and audiovisual recordings, as well as artefacts from the National Collection, the exhibition begins with Mr Lee's formative years as a law student at Cambridge and his early involvement in the anti-colonial struggle.

It also traces his political career from the formation of the People's Action Party, through his Prime Ministership, to his final years of service as Senior Minister and Minister Mentor.

Mr Lee's political biography is inextricably linked to Singapore's own journey from British colony to merger with Malaysia to Separation and independence. This exhibition chronicles that journey and pays tribute to his contributions.

This exhibition will enable visitors to remember and reflect on the solid foundation that he built for Singapore.

In the 1970s, Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew delivered his annual National Day Rally speech at the National Theatre from this Rosewood Rostrum.

The red Ministerial Box used by Mr Lee Kuan Yew while he was in political office. Mr Lee had used it to carry and store materials about issues that he was working on. He had used the box right up to the day before he was hospitalized. The red box, together with other personal objects and parts of the memorial exhibition will be incorporated into their new permanent galleries when they are open in September this year.

The barrister wig Mr Lee and his wife, Madam Kwa Geok Choo bought in 1949 when they were admitted to the Bar.

The Rolex Oyster Perpetual watch presented to him by the Singapore Union of Postal and Telecommunications Workers on 11 April 1953 after he had successfully represented the union in an arbitration over a wage dispute. Eventually, nearly 1000 clerks received 28 months' back pay.

Dated September 26, 1958, Mr Lee had sent a telegram for the family while in Sibu, Sarawak. It simply read, "ARRIVING TODAY BATTLESHIP - LEEKUANYEW". In a Facebook post on Mon (April 6), Prime Minister Lee related that Mr Lee had wanted to have 'steam boat' for dinner that evening, but used 'battleship' instead to save telegram word costs.

A letter from Mr Lee's employer John Laycock, telling him not to take on any more wage dispute cases as he was spending too much time on these “lengthy arbitrations”.

(Left) Leaflet for Legislative Assembly General Election, 1959. (Right)  Leaflet for Legislative Assembly By-election at Tanjong Pagar, 1957

This glass master plate was used for printing leaflets for Mr Lee's campaign as a People's Action Party (PAP) candidate in the 1955 General Elections. The leaflet notes the polling date of 2 April 1955, and declares his support for Independence and workers's rights.

This exhibition is held at the Glass Atrium, Level 2, National Museum of Singapore from 10am to 8pm daily (until 10pm on Fridays and Saturdays). The memorial exhibition which was scheduled to end on April 26, has been extended to May 24 due to overwhelming response.

Admission is free.

93 Stamford Road
Singapore 178897

(+65) 6332 3659 / (+65) 6332 5642

Opening Hours:
10am - 8pm daily
(until 10pm on Fridays and Saturdays)

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