Changes are “in light of the death of Mr Lee Kuan Yew”

SG50 was Singapore’s way of celebrating its Golden Jubilee and had a whole host of events and goodies lined up. However, the celebration has been temporarily muted due to the death of our first Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, who died on March 23 at the Singapore General Hospital.

#RIPLKY

According to Education Minister and Chairman of the SG50 committee Heng Swee Keat, they may now consider “whether to adjust plans for the Republic’s 50th birthday celebrations”. Although no changes have been announced yet, the committee will be looking at how to change up certain parts of the SG50 programme. We help predict 10 changes that the committee may make.

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1. Celebrate Singapore Animation Competition

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What it was: An animation competition encouraging Singaporeans to “express gratitude and appreciation”. The theme is “Thank you Singapore”. Cash prizes of up to $1000 to be won.

What it should be: Theme changed to “Thank you LKY”. Prizes changed to a cute pin badge with the famous black LKY ribbon design.

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Link to event

2. Treasure SG

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What it is: A massive treasure hunt that takes place around Singapore. Clues are dropped via a variety of formats such as Sudoku puzzles and riddles. Attractive prizes worth $10,000 to be won.

What it should be: An island-wide event for all parents to hunt for top schools’ exam papers. You don’t hunt it down, your child ain’t got no practice questions to do.

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3. Heritage Food Trail using SMRT

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What it is: An SG50 activity that taps on Singaporeans’ love for food. People will go on food trails taking SMRT trains with family and friends, creating memories in the process.

What it should be: The food part remains the same. However, cycle to your destination instead. The train might break down anytime. #LuiTuckYewOut

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4. Dream of Emerald Hill

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What it is: A film that starts and ends at the iconic Emerald Hill.

What it should be: Never-ending reruns of LKY and his famous “For my whole adult life….” speech.

5. Inside Out

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What it is: An international creative showcase that encompasses “architecture, design, fashion, film, food, music and the literary, performing and visual arts”. It is a global tour that will span Beijing, London, NYC and finally Singapore in November 2015.

What it should be: Cancelled, because LKY failed an art exam in primary school. Why antagonise him?

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6. IPS-LKYSPP Conference

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What it is: A conference discussing “geopolitics, international economic development, urban liveability and sustainability, and governance” with global and local thinkers.

What it should be: A conference focusing on the teachings and ideologies of LKY. Also must include a 30-minute break for all participants to meditate. LKY himself believed in meditation.

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7. Jubilee Weekend

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What it is: After President Tony Tan declared August 7 a public holiday, Singapore now gets to enjoy an extra long 4-day weekend. Multiple programmes have been lined up for this special period.

What it should be: The best excuse for you to go to JB and relax. 

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8. Jubilee Walk

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What it is: A mass walk around “historic locations in the civic district and the Marina Bay area”.

What it should be: A mass run. Because LKY was a fervent runner.

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Link to event

9. Revamp of the NMS

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What it is: The galleries in the National Museum of Singapore will be revamped for a more “immersive and participatory experience”.

What it should be: Make the galleries 4D, so we can feel the sweat that LKY had when he was planting trees. Or, let us be able to reach out and touch his tears in the above mentioned famous Malaysia separation speech.

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10. The World Street Food Congress 2015

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What it is: Made up of three different components: The Jamboree is a community of 12 stalls that will feature chefs from all over the world, with food prices starting at $4.50. The SG50 Deliciously Singaporean exhibition is a showcase of local food heritage and will feature 50 Singapore dishes.  The Dialogue-Hackathon will allow participants to learn new skills, network and gain new insights through panel discussions and presentations by street food advocates.

What it should be: A steak congress. LKY loved a good steak. Medium rare, well done, uncooked; all there for you. Maybe throw in a live cow too. Moo.

We’re just kidding

There shouldn’t be any cancellations or massive changes just for LKY. Perhaps it is understandable if certain events, like those recounting our history, reflect more on LKY’s life and legacy. But why tone down the otherwise happy celebrations? LKY built a Singapore to outlast him, not to be dependent on him forever.

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Featured Image via Marina Bay Singapore Countdown 2015
With reference to TODAY, Channel NewsAsia