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PAP group proposes Fort Canning memorial for founders
AN advocacy group under the People's Action Party (PAP) has called for a memorial park to be based in Fort Canning Park to honour Singapore's founders.
The PAP Seniors' Group (PAP.SG) announced on Friday that it had submitted its recommendation to the steering committee tasked with gathering views from the public to conceptualise such a memorial for the country's first generation of leaders.
This 15-member committee, helmed by Esplanade chairman Lee Tzu Yang, was set up in April, shortly after the death of founding prime minister Lee Kuan Yew on March 23.
In a statement, PAP.SG outlined its reasons for picking Fort Canning Park as the most suitable location for the proposed memorial park.
"Fort Canning has a long history that is intertwined with that of the city-state. It has served as the seat of power for many of Singapore's rulers during the pre-colonial and early colonial period," said the group, adding that the area is also close to the National Museum.
The group, chaired by Speaker of Parliament Halimah Yacob, said there was enough space at Fort Canning to build a proper memorial that could accommodate large numbers of visitors, and still have room for any future expansion of the site.
PAP.SG gave some ideas for the park's features, including landscaped gardens, internal exhibitions and spaces for activities for children.
The exhibits and design should not feature personalised monuments to honour individuals, the group said, advising against having individual statues or busts.
Rather, the memorial should highlight the 50 years of nation- building that took Singapore from a struggling port city to a First-World metropolis.
"Amid today's hustle and bustle, Singaporeans desire a place of quiet to reflect on what is truly important to us as a nation," said Madam Halimah.
She added that setting the memorial in an accessible and public park was a fitting tribute to Singapore's vision as a garden city-state.
"The vision of a garden city encapsulates not only the efforts to enhance the quality of life in a small city-state but also embodies the ideals of inclusiveness, which our founders fought for with passion, all their lives."