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LEE KUAN YEW 1923 - 2015

Host of events in Singapore postponed as mark of respect

Cancellations stream in from Monday afternoon, as organisers defer to period of national mourning

Numerous events - including official functions and the Business Times Leadership Conference - that were originally planned for this week have been postponed as a mark of respect for the late Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore's founding father, who died on Monday morning.


NUMEROUS events - including official functions and the Business Times Leadership Conference - that were originally planned for this week have been postponed as a mark of respect for the late Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore's founding father, who died on Monday morning.

Malaysian property company EcoWorld was quick to postpone the Tuesday launch of its gallery in Singapore. Husni Zai Yaacob, the high commissioner of Malaysia to Singapore, is the event's intended guest-of-honour. The company has yet to confirm a new launch date.

Frasers Centrepoint also delayed the official sales launch of its development, North Park Residences. The project, which has been touted as the largest integrated development in Singapore's north, was originally slated to open for sales this weekend but will now be pushed back to April 3 "in deference to the passing of Mr Lee Kuan Yew", a company spokesman said.

Also postponed is the Business Times Leadership Conference 2015, which is jointly organised by the Dutch embassy and this newspaper. The event has been pushed from this Wednesday to March 31.

The Institute of Service Excellence at the Singapore Management University has also deferred a Friday results forum for releasing its latest Customer Satisfaction Index of Singapore scores. In its place, it will announce the scores on April 2 and will conduct a breakfast roundtable on April 17.

Elsewhere, fashion label Kate Spade New York has rescheduled the grand opening of its Marina Bay Sands boutique, which was originally planned for Thursday. "We are deeply saddened by the passing of the honourable founding Prime Minister, Mr Lee Kuan Yew," a Kate Spade spokeswoman said.

Travel Revolution 2015, the rival fair to Natas Travel, has been postponed from March 27-29 to April 3-5.

NTUC FairPrice has also cancelled its charity walk this Sunday, joining the nation "in mourning the loss of Singapore's first Prime Minister, Mr Lee Kuan Yew", a company statement read. However, the FairPrice Foundation will still be donating S$150 to charity for each of the 8,000 registered participants, as well as all proceeds from participation fees.

The string of event cancellations started to stream in on Monday afternoon. Mr Lee was 91 when he passed away at the Singapore General Hospital at 3.18am on Monday. He had been hospitalised since Feb 5 for severe pneumonia and was later put on life support. A seven-day period of national mourning has been declared.

The Esplanade was among the first few to announce changes to its plans, cancelling at least 24 non-ticketed performances, and one ticketed performance - Virtuosos of Chinese Music. The National University of Singapore (NUS) has also called off five of its Arts Festival performances taking place between this Wednesday and Sunday.

Marina Bay Sands' daily 13-minute light and water show, Wonder Full, at the Event Plaza has been turned off until next Monday; while a spokesman from Resorts World Sentosa said "resort-wide events and activities will be cancelled or toned down".

In the food and beverage industry, Makansutra has postponed a media conference for the World Street Food Congress 2015, which was scheduled to take place on Tuesday morning. The event itself however, will still run from April 8-12.

Food festival Savour, on the other hand, intends to go on as planned this weekend, with the exception of the cancellation of its Sunday lunch session when the state funeral is taking place. A post on their Facebook page on Monday afternoon read: "Echoing PM Lee's message this morning, we intend to honour Mr Lee Kuan Yew's spirit by doing our utmost to deliver an event of which Singaporeans can be proud."

Jeremy Monteiro's Shanghai Jazz Project shows with Jasmine Chen on Thursday and Friday at The Arts House's Chamber will also proceed as planned but the shows will be slightly altered to keep the mood "sentimental". Evergreen Chinese ballads like Lover's Tears and The Moon Represents My Heart - which were popular during the era when Mr Lee was a young man, will be performed; as well as Mr Monteiro's jazzy rendition of One People, One Nation, One Singapore. As a mark of respect, Mr Lee's seat in the former Parliamentary Chamber will be left vacant; and the performers and audience will observe a minute of silence followed by a minute of applause.

Thailand's prime minister Prayuth Chan-o-cha was originally scheduled to make his first official visit to Singapore from Tuesday to Wednesday to attend the Singapore-Thailand Leaders' Retreat. This has now been postponed, according to the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.


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