When I was growing up in Singapore, I hardly know much about Singapore leaders except for former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew and former PM Goh Chok Tong. Much of Singapore's success of being transformed from a fishing village to a powerhouse in South East Asia is due to the hard work and strategic planning of pioneer grass root leaders and political leaders. Although I do not know much about Dr. Goh's life, but his invaluable contributions to Singapore's success will not be forgotten.
Ordinary Singaporeans share personal memories of the late Dr Goh By Hoe Yeen Nie
SINGAPORE : Over 7,000 people streamed into Parliament House on Friday to pay their last respects to former Deputy Prime Minister Dr Goh Keng Swee.
It is the second day his body is lying in state.
Among the 7,198 visitors were those whose lives had been touched by him.
In the main hall of Parliament House, five ceremonial guards stand vigil around the casket of Dr Goh.
For commander Foong Kok Pun, it is a role that brings on strong emotions. LTC Foong, who is the Commanding Officer of the Underwater Demolition Group at the Singapore Navy, said: "It is a true honour, to be able to do this small little thing for him.
"When the public comes and pays their last respects, and you can see some of the public sincerely, really coming all the way to pay their sincere respects, that touches me. It makes me very proud to be a Singaporean."
LTC Foong added: "In all my 19 years in the armed forces, there are some touchpoints where you come across him. Not in a personal way, but some of the speeches he made when he was defence minister, offer us a lot of leadership lessons."
One speech in particular left a strong impression. Called "Real Solutions Versus Bogus Solutions", the 1975 speech called on officers to "challenge assumptions, so that as a leader, you carry out tasks meaningfully, and not for the sake of doing". These words still hold true for LTC Foong today, who said that his role as a vigil guard allows him to reflect on them, especially "when I can actually see him".
Read more here.
State Funeral Proceeding of Dr. Goh Keng Swee at Singapore Conference Hall
May 23, 2010
Ernest Luis follows the state funeral of Dr Goh Keng Swee at Singpore Conference Hall.
2pm: The live telecast starts on national television in Singapore.
2.15pm: The ceremonial gun carriage carrying the coffin of Dr Goh is being transported now from Parliament House to the Singapore Conference Hall, where invited guests, ministers and his family members are gathered in solemn silence.
2.18pm: You can almost hear a pin drop even on the streets. President SR Nathan arriving at S'pore Conference Hall now with his wife to take their places.
2.20pm: Accompanying the body is Mrs Goh herself. There are media photographers and public along the route on Shenton Way taking pictures as the procession goes past slowly but steadily. There is an instant sense of quiet dignity you gain from the proceedings, quite like the late Dr Goh himself, one of Singapore's founding fathers.
2.23pm: Ex-colleagues of Dr Goh, the various religious leaders representing the different communities in Singapore, are all seated among a full-house crowd in the S'pore Conference Hall. There are pre-recorded interviews with Singaporeans on the street being shown now on television.
2.27pm: The casket of Dr Goh is draped in the state flag, to accord him the highest honour. The ceremonial gun carriage is headed by three outriders and a patrol car in front of them, with another two outriders further ahead. Five cars are following Dr Goh's casket. They are all travelling at around 15kmh.
2.30pm: Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam awaits Dr Goh's family emerging from the convoy as Scottish bagpipes play the tune of Amazing Grace.
2.34pm: The eight army coffin-bearers draw out Dr Goh's casket from the ceremonial gun carriage and head into the hall, as the tune from Handel's Death March is played by the military band.
2.36pm: The by-invitation-only service is being attended by groups from the Singapore Armed Forces, Home Team, schools and statutory boards. Civil service head Peter Ho will be the master of ceremony and five eulogies will be presented by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew, Temasek Holdings chairman S. Dhanabalan, Dr Goh's grandson Goh Ken-Yi and grand-niece Marian Hui. The cortege will proceed to Mandai Crematorium, where a private ceremony for family members will be held.
2.40pm: The guests rise as the Singapore Symphony Orchestra - which he pushed for the founding of - plays Bach's Air Suite 3, while the coffin-bearers walk in slowly on stage carrying Dr Goh's casket.
2.43pm: The coffin-bearers now put back on their caps in order, smartly and sharply, as the crowd start to take their seats again.
2.45pm: PM Lee Hsien Loong walks up on stage to deliver his eulogy, he's wearing a white shirt and black tie.
2.48pm: PM Lee said Singapore, too, has had "giants" who have helped shape the nation. PM Goh starts off by detailing Dr Goh's famous thrifty nature, in starting the journey that would famously make Singapore the strong financial economy it has become. He credits Dr Goh's transformation of Jurong's swamps into an industrial hub.
2.50pm: PM Lee is talking clearly and vibrantly, as he recaps Dr Goh's achievements in the face of much early difficulties, describing his role as a "backroom" one. But his "robust attitude" encouraged the whole team to press on against "unwinnable odds", to help create today's Singapore.
2.58pm: PM Lee talks about being in the first batch of SAF scholars. He recalls how Dr Goh presented his group with two military classics: Sun Tzu's Art of War and Liddell Hart's Strategy: The Indirect Approach. He talks about how Dr Goh's gesture showed both his "grasp of strategy and security issues, as well as his keen interest in nurturing talent for the SAF".
3pm: As PM Lee smiles a little, recollecting the various tales of Dr Goh's robust exploits, a few guests in the crowd smile too, at the reminder of the "giant" Dr Goh.
3.02pm: Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew now takes over from PM Lee as it's his turn to give a eulogy for his comrade. He says how Dr Goh challenged his views and they would then reach a better decision for Singapore. MM Lee captures their long relationship perfectly in a nutshell.
3.05pm: MM Lee describes first meeting Dr Goh, how he had a large Adam's apple and a gruff voice. Soon, they would become good friends, and plan a grand vision to win over the country from the colonialists. How he, together with Dr Goh, got rid of the Communists after, and their various tentacles. Dr Goh, the "thinker", MM Lee himself, the "executor".
3.11pm: MM Lee slows down a little as he recalls from his speech notes, and you can see that he is almost savouring the memories he shared with the colleague and friend whom he once gave "the toughest jobs in Government to".
3.12pm: MM Lee breaks quickly to take a sip from a glass of water.
3.14pm: Like PM Lee, MM Lee is also wearing a white shirt, together with a dark tie.
3.17pm: MM Lee says that with the passing of Dr Goh, "we have lost a remarkable son". He closes on that note and walks down from stage to take his seat.
3.20pm: It's the turn of Temasek Holdings chairman S. Dhanabalan next, to deliver his eulogy. Mr Dhanabalan says Dr Goh was a visionary. But he adds that Dr Goh hated being called one. "Visionaries are dreamers", he recalled Dr Goh's remark once. Mr Dhanabalan says Dr Goh was a "realist". But he could see "over the horizon".
3.23pm: Mr Dhanabalan recalls meeting Dr Goh in late 1959. How Dr Goh's willingness to meet him - when he had other pressing governing matters to attend to and did not know Mr Dhanabalan before - convinced him on his path in economics that would change his life. Dr Goh would eventually become his mentor in his early days as an MP.
3.28pm: Mr Dhanabalan recalls how an American company in 1968, wanted to build a petroleum refinery on Sentosa, but Dr Goh - even when the plan was potentially lucrative - believed that Sentosa should be kept for recreation. The company was persuaded to set up in Jurong instead.
3.30pm: Mr Dhanabalan closes his eulogy, describing Dr Goh as a man with a "great mind".
3.32pm: Dr Goh's grandson Goh Ken-Yi - the apple of Dr Goh's eye - is up next for his eulogy on stage. He recalls the cherished moments with his grandfather. How he nudged Dr Goh awake from his naps in the 70s, not realising how tired he was from shaping a nation then. How Dr Goh bought him a Nikon camera in his teenage years, which he has kept till today. Dr Goh loved photography. They would visit the zoo, bird park, fireworks, air shows, and take pictures together, but Dr Goh always tried to avoid his grandson snapping pictures of him. Sometimes, Dr Goh did comply with his grandson for a "comical pose", which was totally different from his public persona.
3.37pm: Goh Ken-Yi recalls how his grandfather reminded him at the start of his adult working days, to always be "someone whom others could always rely on", no matter what path or position he would end up in.
3.40pm: Goh Ken-Yi is clear in his points all the way through, and he is clearly determined to share the same dignity and ethics of principles his grandfather had taught him, with the guests in the hall.
3.42pm: Grand-niece Marian Hui is up next on stage, to deliver her eulogy. She recalls how Dr Goh never made her feel that she was ever "too small" to be of any importance to him. She looks as if she has clearly been through an emotional time before her speech, but she continues to deliver her eulogy firmly, always referring to "grand-uncle" Dr Goh. She recalls how "grand-uncle" Dr Goh used to tear tissue paper into halves, to keep the other piece for later, perfectly personalising his famed frugal nature in one simple reference.
3.49pm: Marian Hui recalls how Dr Goh, even when his health worsened, would always have a robust "Hello, how are you?" question for everyone in the family. She almost chokes as she finishes her eulogy, determined to make a difference in her life, as Dr Goh did.
3.51pm: Mrs Goh places a wreath on stage now. This is followed by PM Lee placing a wreath, on "behalf of the nation", as described by Civil Service head Peter Ho, the master of ceremony.
3.54pm: The state flag and accoutrements are taken off the coffin and folded by the coffin-bearers. They will be forwarded to President Nathan, who will then in turn present them to Mrs Goh. Both stand up as President Nathan says a few words to Mrs Goh.
3.58pm: A minute's silence as all guests in the hall stand and bow in respect. This is followed by a solemn bugle call titled "Last Post", signifying the final call for Dr Goh Keng Swee. Uniformed groups and officers in the crowd salute.
4.02pm: The cortege will now proceed to Mandai Crematorium, where a private ceremony for family members will be held.致最后敬意 ——沉痛告别吴庆瑞博士
永远的感激——这是李显龙总理在国葬礼上代表政府与人民宣读悼词时，对这位为新加坡的长 期繁荣与安全奠定基础的人物所致上的最高敬意，也是850名受邀参加国葬礼的各界人士，以及沿着从国会大厦移灵的路线送吴博士最后一程，乃至透过电视荧光 屏目送这位陨落的巨人的全国民众心中的一份感动。
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