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LEE KUAN YEW 1923 - 2015

Companies pay tribute to LKY

Singapore

MANY companies here are taking a pause to pay tribute to Singapore's founding father Lee Kuan Yew, who died on Monday at the age of 91.

Almost all the 21 companies The Business Times spoke with said they have given employees time off from work to pay their respects to Mr Lee.

Sam Goi Seng Hui, chairman of Tee Yih Jia Group and GSH Corporation, was among those who braved the hot sun for four hours on Wednesday morning with his team of some 100 employees as they lined up to pay their respects at Parliament House.

Others like Unilever, Shell Singapore, Parkway Pantai and IHH Healthcare arranged for transportation to ferry staff to Parliament House.

Several companies also said they would send a contingent to Parliament House on Thursday or Friday. SingPost said a group of 50 employees comprising management and frontline staff will pay their respects to Mr Lee on Friday, together with the union.

As the queue grew on Wednesday, some businesses such as Maybank Singapore set up a station handing out bottled water to provide some relief to those waiting in line.

CapitaLand, South-east Asia's largest developer, said it turned off building signages on all its properties in Singapore while Swiss bank UBS said it would turn off its One Raffles Quay signage and that of other offices until Sunday to mark the national week of mourning.

Donations were also made in honour of Mr Lee.

Koh Ching Ching, head of group corporate communications at OCBC, said the bank has contributed S$100,000 to the NTUC-U Care Fund "in accordance with the wishes of the family for donations to be channelled towards charitable and community causes".

Credit Suisse said it would match staff donations on a one-to-one basis, up to a total of US$20,000, and that the money would be given to the Garden City Fund that Mr Lee was founding patron of, while ABN Amro said it is donating S$20,000 to charity.

On Wednesday evening, Keppel Corporation held a tribute event involving some 500 employees who represented its offshore & marine, infrastructure and property divisions on Keppel Island, led by chairman Lee Boon Yang.

Sembcorp Industries said its private memorial service on Friday will go out via webcast to employees across its various Singapore operations and at its overseas offices.

Similarly, CapitaLand said its remembrance event on Friday would be streamed live via YouTube so that overseas staff may also participate in the proceedings.

Meanwhile, the Singapore Exchange and Parkway Pantai have provided black ribbons for staff to wear.

Numerous companies have cancelled their activities in the past three days, including the Earth Hour event at Marina Bay, the Business Times Leadership Conference and the 50plus Expo, which was to be held from Friday to Sunday.

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IN DEPTH: Lee Kuan Yew: 1923-2015